William Wegman (photographer) bigraphy, stories - American photographer

William Wegman (photographer) : biography

December 2, 1943 -

'Blue Period with Banjo', Polaroid ER print by William Wegman, 1980

William Wegman (born December 2, 1943) is an artist best known for creating series of compositions involving dogs, primarily his own Weimaraners in various costumes and poses.Henry Bond, "Wegman's Ritual: William Wegman in London," Creative Camera, Issue 307, December–January 1991, p. 44.

Exhibitions and critical context

Wegman's photos are well respected in the art world, are held in permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His photos and videos have also been a popular success, and have appeared in books, advertisements, films, as well as on television programs like Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live. In 2006, Wegman's work was featured in a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Norton Museum of Art, and the Addison Gallery of American Art. The Brooklyn Museum explored 40 years of Wegman’s work in all media in the 2006 retrospective William Wegman: Funny/Strange. The exhibition also ran at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2007.

William Wegman is represented by Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles, CA and Pace/MacGill in New York, NY

Partial filmography

  • Dog Duet (1974)
  • Dog Baseball (1986)
  • Blue Monday '88 (1989) (New Order Music Video)
  • Dog on Pedestals (1992) (3 network ID's for Nickelodeon)
  • Alphabet Soup (1995)
  • Fay's 12 Days of Christmas (1995)
  • The Hardly Boys in Hardly Gold (1996, screened at Sundance)
  • William Wegman's Mother Goose (1997)
  • Front Porch (1999)
  • Farm Days
  • Fay
  • How Do You Get to MoMaQns?
  • Milk/Floor (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Stomach Song (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Randy's Sick (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Pocketbook Man (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Talking Fish (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Out and In (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Rage and Depression (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Massage Chair (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Crooked Finger/Crooked Stick (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Deodorant (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Growl (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Spelling Lesson (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Drinking Milk (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Starter (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Bad Movies (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • House for Sale (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")
  • Horseshoes (released on "Selected Video Works 1970-78")

Life and career

Wegman reportedly originally intended to pursue a career as a painter. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Massachusetts College of Art in 1965 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1967.

While teaching at California State University, Long Beach, he acquired the first and most famous of the dogs he photographed, a Weimaraner he named Man Ray (after the artist and photographer). Man Ray later became so popular that the Village Voice named him "Man of the Year" in 1982. He named a subsequent dog Fay Ray (a play on the name of actress Fay Wray).

Living octopus

Living octopus

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