Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1949, Frank Stewart grew up in Memphis and Chicago. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and received a BFA in photography from Cooper Union in New York. Stewart has had numerous solo and group shows at Cooper Union Gallery, Washington Project for the Arts, Studio Museum in Harlem, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the International Center of Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.
He was a member of the first team of North American journalists invited by the government of Cuba to photograph the Island in 1977; he was also invited by the Los Angles Committee to photograph the 1984 Olympics. He has been granted two photographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a New York Creative Artist Public Service Award, and a 2002 NFFA fellowship. He was honored as Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1975, at Kenkeleba House in 1987, and at the Light Work Gallery at Syracuse University in 1989. His photographs were published in Sweet Swing Blues on the Road (text by Wynton Marsalis; published by WW Norton) and Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in Barbecue Country (text by Lolis Eric Elie, also a Katrina Media Fellow; published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Most recently, his work was featured in Romare Bearden: Photographs by Frank Stewart (published by Pomegranate) and The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African-American Family (Frank Stewart, ed., with text by Ntozake Shange and photographs by Kamoinge Inc.; published by Simon & Schuster).
Stewart currently serves as Senior Staff Photographer for Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is a member of Kamoinge, a New York-based collective of African-American photographers.