"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
Born in Albany, New York
Received B.A. degree in Anthropology, University of Missouri
Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY
Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA
Douglas Kenyon Gallery, Chicago, IL
Catskill Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY
Midtown Y Gallery, New York, NY
Sunprint Gallery, Madison, WI
Purdue University, Lafayette, IN
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, “Discovering America: A Tribute to Hugh Edwards”
Neikrug Gallery, New York, NY, “Rated X”
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, “Contemporary Photography II”
Gun People, Dolphin Book, Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City, NY
George W. Gardner, 1960–1980, The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA
Documentary Photography, Time-Life Books, New York, NY, rev. ed.
America Illustrated: Photographs by George W. Gardner, 1960–1980, Tackfield Ltd., London & Chicago, IL
Popular Photography “How-To Guide”
Creative Camera, February, 1972
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
New York State Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS) Fellowship