Frank Gohlke bigraphy, stories - Design

Frank Gohlke : biography

1942 -


Frank Gohlke, born in 1942, is a leading figure in American landscape photography. He has been awarded two Guggenheim Fellowships and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Known for his large format landscape photographs, Gohlke's work has been shown at museums all over the world and included in collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the Amon Carter Museum, the Australian National Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada.

Although he was born in Texas, Gohlke’s geographical range includes central France, the American South and Midwest, New England and Mount St. Helens after a volcanic eruption.

Gohlke received his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in English Literature. At Yale University, where he received his MA in English in 1966, Gohlke met Walker Evans and then studied privately with Paul Caponigro. Gohlke’s photographs came to notice in the influential 1975 group exhibition New Topographics: Images of a Man-Altered Landscape at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York, and his M.A. from Yale in the same subject.

He has taught at Massachusetts College of Art and Design; the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley College; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the universities of Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

He is represented in many private and public collections, including the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

Gohlke has participated in important commissions from the Seagrams Corporation; AT&T; the Laboratorio di Fotografia in Reggio Emilia, Italy; The George Gund Foundation in Cleveland. He has received commissions for public projects for the Tulsa International Airport, for an office complex in Basel, Switzerland, for the City of Venice and for the Mission Photographique de la DATAR, a French government-sponsored agency documenting the French landscape.

A mid-career retrospective of his work was organized by the Amon Carter Museum (September 22, 2007-January 6, 2008). An accompanying catalogue includes essays by Gohlke, Rebecca Solnit and John Rohrbach, senior curator of photographs.

Frank Gohlke currently teaches Photography at University of Arizona College of Fine Arts.


  • Davidson College, Davidson, NC 1960-1963
  • University of Texas, Austin, TX B.A. (English literature) 1964
  • Yale University, New Haven, CT M.A. (English literature) 1964-1966
  • Studied with photographer Paul Caponigro 1967-1968

Ref. for the whole education section:

Selected One And Two Person Exhibitions

  • Art Institute of Chicago (with Edward Ranney) 1974
  • Light Gallery, New York, NY 1975,1978,1981,1982
  • Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Ft. Worth, TX 1975
  • "Grain Elevators," The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (MoMA) (traveled through 1980) 1978
  • University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 1980
  • Film in the Cities Gallery, St. Paul, MN 1981,1983,1985,1987
  • "Mt. St. Helens: Work in Progress," MoMA, New York, NY 1983
  • Daniel Wolf Gallery, New York, NY 1983,1986
  • "Landscapes from the Middle of the World: Photographs 1972-1987," Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, IL (traveled through 1991) 1988
  • "Two Days in Louisiana," (with Gregory Conniff), Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI 1989
  • Franklin Parrasch Gallery, NYC 1992
  • "Living Water: Photographs of the Sudbury River by Frank Gohlke," DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts 1993
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