Emmet Gowin

Born 1941
Hometown Danville, Virginia
Education
MFA, Rhode Island School of Design, 1967

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

Corcoran Gallery of Art,Washington, D.C.

Throughout his prolific career as a photographer, Emmet Gowin has threaded together seemingly disparate subjects—his wife, Edith, and their extended family; American and European landscapes; aerial views of environmental devastation—that reflect his ongoing interest in issues of scale, the impact of the individual, and notions of belonging. Following his marriage to Edith Morris in 1964, Gowin began work on a series of images of his extended family that is now recognized as a touchstone of twentieth-century American photography. He photographed their children and their aging parents, and made intimate portraits of his wife, carrying on a photographic tradition inherited from his mentor, Harry Callahan, with whom he studied in the 1960s. His focus broadened in the 1980s, when he began an exploration of landscape and aerial photography, most specifically in his documentation of Mount St. Helens and the American West. He has since photographed in the Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, Japan, and the United States with a continued interest in irrigation, mining and natural resources, and the environmental effects of military testing.


Gowin’s black-and-white photographs have been exhibited in the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Corcorcan Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Escape Photographie Marie de Paris. Gowin has published more than six monographs and he has been awarded several honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the Pew Fellowship for the Arts, and the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.


Courtesy of Aperture Foundation

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