While a native Californian, Jim Alinder grew
up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and from the age of seven was educated there.
He developed an early interest in photography and became a freelance
professional photographer while still a teenager.
Alinder received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College and completed two years of graduate work at the University of Minnesota, before becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Somali Republic, East Africa. He taught English and was photography advisor to the Ministry of Information in Mogadishu, Somalia from 1964 to 1966.
Following receipt of his Master of Fine Arts degree in photography and art history from the University of New Mexico in 1968, Alinder spent the next decade as a professor of art at the University of Nebraska. He has taught beginning through graduate level creative photography classes. Alinder is also a popular lecturer and workshop instructor.
In 1977, at the invitation of Ansel Adams, he became the executive director of The Friends of Photography in Carmel, developed it into the nation's largest nonprofit photography organization. Alinder has written or edited some forty books on photography and he as been the curator or director of more than 150 exhibitions.
After a dozen years, Alinder resigned from that directorship to return to being a full-time artist, and moved with his wife, Mary, to The Sea Ranch on the Northern California Coast in 1990. In that year they opened the Alinder Gallery in nearby town of Gualala. While specializing in original images by Ansel Adams, the gallery maintained an excellent selection of work by many other great photographers and also brought the work of deserving new artists to the publicís attention.
Alinder's photographs have been shown in over one hundred exhibitions all over the world. His work is in many museum collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; George Eastman House, Rochester; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Barbican Art Centre, London. Alinder's images have been reproduced in books and magazines such as ARTFORUM, American Photographer, Popular Photography, and Creative Camera.
A publication of this panoramic images, Consequences, was released in 1975, A book of his Instamatic camera photographs, Picture America, was published in the early 1980s where his images are paired with short, fictional texts by National Book Award winning author Wright Morris. Sparkling Harvest, a book of his photographs of the wine country was published in 1998 by Harry Abrams. In 1999, New York Graphic Society published a suite of six of Alinderís vertical panoramic photographs of Paris and the next year six panos of New York City. A book of his photographs of The Sea Ranch, with texts by architects Donlyn Lyndon and Lawrence Halprin, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in February, 2004.
In the past, Alinder has sought added visual energy through unusual cameras. The best known of his photography now encompasses some four decades of work with a 150 degree swinging lens panoramic camera. Part family portrait, part figure in landscape, this series is about how we codify personal relationships photographically at sites that range from corporate sponsored picture spots to the everyday space of the home kitchen. Saturated with Americana, they are by turns intimate and universal, documentary and fabricated, distressing and humorous. The Alinderís have three children and four grandchildren who often appear in his panoramic photographs.
His extended series of photographs made with the inexpensive Diana plastic camera (now the Holga), and the Kodak Instamatic also brought him considerable notice. Alinder routinely photographs both in black and white and in color. Though his tonal palette and subject matter are diverse, his vision is singular. Regardless of subject, he hones the scene before him to the strongest way of seeing.
Alinder has twice received artist's fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as one from the Woods Foundation. Jim Alinderís innovative images resound with clear expression, consistent style, and intrinsic beauty.
Jim Alinder's Curriculum Vitae (PDF - 347 KB)
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