JoAnn Verburg’s photographs have been exhibited nationally in museums and galleries, and are in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum; Minneapolis Institute of Art; National Portrait Gallery; International Center of Photography; International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Weisman Art Museum; Wellesley College Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Walker Art Center, MN; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA, among others. Verburg received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986.
JoAnn Verburg began her career working on outreach programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1972 – 1975) and established an interest in learning and teaching outside of academia that continues today.
In 1976, she finished her studies in museum practices in fine art photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester New York.
Verburg was a founding member of The Rephotographic Survey Project in Colorado (later in Idaho). In that role, she researched the four great 19th century topographical surveys that ultimately reestablished the boundaries of the United States. In 1977 and 1978, with a team of photographers, she and her partner Mark Klett led expeditions to find the sites where William Henry Jackson and other 19th photographers had exposed their glass plate negatives; by locating their sites, finding camera positions, and rephotographing the same places as they appeared in 1977. Her work was published with Klett and their third partner, Ellen Manchester, as the seminal book, Second View: A Rephotographic Survey.
In the late 1970s she created a Visiting Artist Program for Polaroid Corporation, which has survived the corporation itself. She introduced most of the artists who first experimented with the Polaroid 20 × 24 camera, including William Wegman, Jim Dine, Linda Connor, Jan Groover, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close.
In the late 1970s Verburg had also started her long love affair with 5×7 photography, first with black & white, then color, now color negatives that she scans with an old giant Howtek scanner. She has collaborated with dancers, visual artists, and writers on a number of projects over the years.
In 2007, the Museum of Modern Art in New York curated Present Tense: Photographs by JoAnn Verburg, a solo exhibition of her photographs and video with a catalog of the same title. The exhibit traveled to the Walker Art Center in 2008. Of this exhibition, Philip Gefter wrote in The New York Times, “Time doesn’t exactly stand still in JoAnn Verburg’s photographs….Instead, her portraits, still lifes and landscapes generate a state of prolonged experience.”
Her work is included in many other publications, including the current textbook, Photography, by Upton and London and Highlights Since 1980: MoMA. Her most recent publication, Interruptions, comes from Steidl.
This talk coincides with the exhibition, Present Tense: Photographs by JoAnn Verburg, on view at G. Gibson Gallery from February – March 2013.