Carrie Mae Weems, an award-winning photographer who in 2012 was presented with an honorary degree from Bowdoin College, was named a 2013 MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

In addition to the award’s prestige, a “genius” fellowship, as it’s often called, pays $625,000 over five years to fund an artist’s work.

Weems, who toggles between San Francisco and New York City, is based in Syracuse, N.Y., with her husband, Jeff Hoone.

Much of Weems’ work is darkly personal. Several exhibits from the 1980s, titled “Ain’t Jokin’” and “American Icons,” seethe with images that are carefully composed and processed with stark, spare colorst.

Weems didn’t start to study the visual arts until she was 20. Now 60, she has become one of the country’s most influential documentarians of African American culture and struggle.

Bowdoin’s honorary degree recipients are chosen based on contributions to the college, to academia and to society, according to Doug Cook, director of media relations for the school.

[email protected]

Video @

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: