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James Frankoski

James Frankoski was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1950. He is a fine arts photographer known for high contrast photographs of the Cathedral of the Madeleine and the photographs of the Great Salt Lake. He lives in Salt Lake City. 

Beginning in 1970, Frankoski pursued a fine arts degree at Wayne State University. After his move to Salt Lake in 1973, he began photographing the Great Salt Lake and interior still lifes. Frankoski earned an MFA from the University of Utah in 1998.

From 1991 to 1992, Frankoski was commissioned to photograph the restoration of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, a series of 20 documentary photographs depicting the scaffolds, tools and debris amid the stained glass windows, columns, and religious sculpture.  The Cathedral Restoration Portfolio is also featured in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts permanent collection.

Biography adapted from Utah Museum of Fine Art.

Jim Frankoski was born in Detroit, Michigan in August of 1950 and has made a name for himself as a brilliant photographer of Utah's landscapes and still lifes. He studied at Western Michigan University for two years under a football scholarship until he transferred to Wayne State University in 1970. It was there that he decided to pursue a career in fine arts.

His interest in photographing the Great Salt Lake began in 1973 as he made the daring move from Michigan to Utah in search of change and creative inspiration. He certainly found this inspiration through many summer trips to the shores of the expansive Great Salt Lake, and continued these observations for over ten years. During the off-season, when neither weather nor time permitted a trip out to the lake, he photographed still lifes in order to uncover the natural beauty of objects through texture, contrast and variety of composition.

Frankoski views photography as a means to capture the feeling of connection with nature; to show a deep appreciation for the beauties found all around us. He tries to follow his emotions as he photographs an object to make an image that enables the viewer to appreciate its beauty. Most of his photographs of the Great Salt Lake are black and white in order to convey sharpness and detail while retaining a high contrast. He used 8” x 10” film (one of the largest sizes) to express a greater feeling of depth and, only recently, has he begun to experiment more with color in the rest of his works.

Frankoski is a graduate of the University of Utah (1998) and one of his most famous series of photographs, the reconstruction of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, can be found in the collection of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Many of his other works are displayed in the L'Asietique Museum in Scottsdale, Florida. Currently, Frankoski devotes much of his time to his wife Gail and son Nick, photographing still life's in the style of the old Dutch masters, and working at Borg Andersen and Associates, Inc. His dream: travel in Europe and “shoot whatever comes naturally.”

To contact this artist: frankoski@comcast.net

Biography courtesy of the Utah Museum of Fine Art.


South, Will, and Jim Frankosi. The Restoration of the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 1997.

 Last Modified 4/1/20