Kenneth Josephson was born in Detroit in 1932 and became interested in photography at the age of twelve. He began his formal photography training at the Rochester Institute of Technology, earning an Associate’s Degree before being drafted into the army in 1953, where he spent several months in Germany doing aerial reconnaissance photography. Immediately after, he returned to R.I.T. to earn his B.F.A. studying under the new program head, Minor White as well as Beaumont Newhall. Josephson started his graduate studies at the Institute of Design, Chicago, in 1958 and studied under Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. After graduating in 1960, Josephson became an instructor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he taught for almost forty years.
In 1963 he became a founding member of the Society for Photographic Education, and in 1964 his work was included in John Szarkowski’s exhibition, “The Photographer’s Eye,” which traveled internationally to forty venues from 1964 to 1972. Josephson received his first museum retrospective in 1999–2000 at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum. His work is featured in numerous collections around the world and his monographs include: Kenneth Josephson, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1983; Kenneth Josephson: A Retrospective, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1999; Kenneth Josephson: The First Fifty Years, Stephen Daiter Gallery, 2008; Kenneth Josephson: Matthew, 2054 Press and Stephen Daiter Gallery, 2012; Kenneth Josephson: Selected Photographs, Only Photography, 2013; and The Light of Coincidence: The Photographs of Kenneth Josephson, University of Texas Press, 2016.