Baron Wolman saw the music. He was on-stage with Jimi Hendrix, backstage with the Rolling Stones, in front of the stage with Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin. Grace Slick and the Grateful Dead performed for the camera in his Haight-Ashbury studio. Wolman was Rolling Stone’s first staff photographer. From 1967 through the early seventies, his pictures appeared in virtually every issue.
Baron grew up in Columbus, Ohio, studied philosophy at Northwestern University in Chicago, learned German at the Defense Language School in Monterey, California, and then did a tour with military intelligence in West Berlin. In Berlin, Wolman sold his first photo essay for publication, a story about life behind the then-new Berlin Wall. From Germany he moved to California to continue his career as a photo journalist.
In 1967, a fortuitous meeting with 21 year-old Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone, resulted in Wolman becoming that publication’s first chief photographer. For three years his photographs were published regularly in Rolling Stone and became the magazine’s graphic centerpiece. Over thirty years later, those same photographs, picture memories of the 60’s, are now widely exhibited and collected.
As Jann wrote in the introduction to Wolman’s book, ‘Classic Rock & Other Rollers,’ ‘Baron Wolman was one of the unsung heroes of the early days of Rolling Stone. As the magazine’s first photographer, he helped set its visual style and paved the way for those who followed him.’
In 1970, Wolman left the Stone to start his own magazine, Rags, the ‘Rolling Stone of fashion.’ The creative and irreverent monthly featured styles of the times and was an acknowledged journalistic success. Unfortunately, Rags did not survive the recession and publication ceased after only 13 issues.
When he was suddenly bitten by the flying bug in the mid-seventies Wolman bought a little Cessna, learned to fly and began doing aerial photography. Collections of his aerial landscapes have appeared in two successful books, ‘California From the Air: The Golden Coast’ and ‘The Holy Land: Israel From The Air.’
Over the years Wolman had become addicted to publishing’s natural high. In 1974, he founded Squarebooks Publishing. With world headquarters now located 60 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Santa Rosa, California, Squarebooks continues its long tradition of publishing an eclectic list of illustrated, quality books.
In August 2001, Baron moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where you’ll now find him savoring its tasty chile-infused cuisine, marveling at its relentlessly beautiful sunsets, and reveling in the ambiance of its delightfully eccentric, artistic community.”