"Gardner most often photographs those aspects of American life that possess some combination of the idiosyncratic, the incongruous, the hyperactive, and the surreal. He does not pass judgement, neither glorifying nor condemning his subjects. Rather he cherishes them as objects of visual delight and as icons of American culture whose significations have all the density and ambiguity of a dream."
— George Dimock, Guest Curator of George W. Gardner, 1960–1980, The Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, MA), 1983

"Soon, he opened his sample case to reveal hundreds of glowing black-and-white prints. Images of America exploded like so many coiled springs into my already cluttered office, finally covering every available surface, including the floor..."
— Jim Hughes, Introduction to America Illustrated: Photographs by George W. Gardner, 1960–1980, 1983

"Even among the wandering tribe of documentarians, George Gardner is remarkable for his restlessness. A friend once described him as 'a gypsy photographer, roaring in and out of towns on his motorcycle, camera at the ready.'"
— Documentary Photography, Time-Life Books, 1983

"Humor (and the art of capture) may well be the ties that bind the two George Gardners. He recalls an afternoon last September when he had arranged to meet his mother for lunch at a diner on Route 84, near Poughkeepsie. 'The bike broke down', he says, 'and no phone and called my mother to come get me.' Gardner laughs. 'How many71-year-olds can break down on a motorcycle and still have their mother pick them up?' (For the record, she's 94...)"
— Article "George Gardner: The Catcher of the Wry", B&W Magazine, December 2011


CHRONOLOGY          

1940
Born in Albany, New York
1964
Received B.A. degree in Anthropology, University of Missouri

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2010
Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY
1983
Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA
1982
Douglas Kenyon Gallery, Chicago, IL
1980
Catskill Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY
1979
Midtown Y Gallery, New York, NY
1978  
Sunprint Gallery, Madison, WI
1967
Purdue University, Lafayette, IN

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

1979
The Art Institute of Chicago,  Chicago, IL,  “Discovering America: A Tribute to Hugh Edwards”
1977
Neikrug Gallery, New York, NY, “Rated X”
1969
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, “Contemporary Photography II”

PUBLICATIONS

1985
Gun People, Dolphin Book, Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City, NY
1983
George W. Gardner, 1960–1980, The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA
1983
Documentary Photography, Time-Life Books, New York, NY, rev. ed.
1982
America Illustrated: Photographs by George W. Gardner, 1960–1980, Tackfield Ltd., London & Chicago, IL
1977
Popular Photography “How-To Guide”
1972
Creative Camera, February, 1972

COLLECTIONS

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
DePaul University Art Museum, Chicago, IL
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

AWARDS

1980–81       
New York State Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS) Fellowship