The Photographer Behind the Oxford Project Has Died

Dec 4, 2017

The photographer who documented life in a small eastern Iowa town in a book titled “The Oxford Project,” has died.

Peter Feldstein
Credit Mel Andringa, Legion Arts, Flickr

Peter Feldstein was a professor of photography at the University of Iowa in 1984 when he asked the 670 residents of Oxford, the Johnson County town in which he lived, if he could take their pictures. Twenty years later he reshot the photos of those who remained alive and in town, and with writer Stephen Bloom, published “The Oxford Project.” In it, they told the sometimes revealing stories of people growing up and growing old in a small Iowa town.

Feldstein was a New York-native, but he lived 27 years in Oxford. At the time of the book’s publication, he said his neighbors defied stereotypes that often make Iowa the butt of jokes. He said “the people here have much more breadth to them that that.” Peter Feldstein died Friday. He was 75 years old.