Jerry UELSMANN is an American photographer born in Detroit in 1934. He studied at the Fine Art Rochester Institute of Technology of which he graduated in 1957, then at the Indiana University until 1960. Later, he taught photography at University in the state of Florida, where he still lives.

The solo show in 1967 at the MoMA in New York has definitely promoted his career. Jerry UELSMANN is well known for his gelatin silver-print photomontage. He has considered his photographs compared to the post-visualization, concept thanks to he has qualified his practical work of negatives. The main idea is to consider the shot as a part of the work. Then the artist’s view comes true in the darkroom, experimentation place which gives birth to the final photography. He has adapted his laboratory so that it corresponds to the photomontage’s requirements.


Photomontage by Jerry UELSMANN showing a naked woman on levitation above the sea. There is a deep surrealistic feeling in this image.

Jerry UELSMANN, Untitled, 1986, sivler-print photomontage "Woman levitating above the shore".


Jerry UELSMANN pushed the art of photomontage to a whole new dimension

Crafting a picture by combining negatives had already been done by many photographers, since primitive photographers. Among these one, Oscar Gustave REJLANDER (1813-1875) manipulated his negatives since the 1850’s. He combined them in order to create photos with many different readings. Jerry UELSMANN followed on from this practice which had been set apart for a long time because of the modernist movement’s success. Modernism stipulates that photos should not be modified nor combined, it has to be a picture reflecting reality. Jerry UELSMANN open-minded and innovative attitude led him to get off the beaten track. Thanks to that, he has become one of the most preeminent photographer in gelatin silver-print photomontage.   

Jerry UELSMANN’s photomontages turn round the dogma which stipulate photography has to reflect reality. They question the limits of the medium, playing with the different realities displayed. Jerry UELSMANN creates in this way dreamlike universes opening us the doors of his wild imagination. He has produced with almost 40 years in advance gelatin silver-print photomontages close to the one created thanks to digital technologies. 

Jerry UELSMANN’s pioneering approach and the quality of his works are reputed all around the world. In 1967, he has got the Guggenheim Fellowship spending and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship support in 1972. He is member of the Royal Photographic Society in Britain and a founder member of the Society of Photographic Education. His photos are part of major collections, including many museums.


Books selection:

Uelsmann untitled: a retrospective, University Press of Florida, 2014

The Mind's Eye, Modernbook Editions, 2010

Uelsmann/Yosemite, University Press of Florida, 1996

Uelsmann: Process and Perception, University Press of Florida, 1985

Jerry N. Uelsmann—Twenty-five Years: A Retrospective, New York Graphic Society, 1982

Interview of Jerry UELSMANN by The Los Angeles Review of Books, made in 2015 for Uelsmann Untitled book promotion.


You can find more about his artworks by visiting our pages dedicated to Jerry UELSMANN's photomontages.


Private Collections and Museums:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

The Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, USA

The International Museum of Photography at The George Eastman House

The National Museum of American Art, Washington, USA

The Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona, Tucson, USA

The Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australie

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

The National Galleries of Scotland, Edimbourg, Scotland

The Victoria and Albert Museum, Londres, England

The Bibliothèque Nationale Française, Paris, France

The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan

The National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Tokyo, Japan


Fairs and exhibitions:

Jerry Uelsmann + Maggie Taylor, Galerie GADCOLLECTION, Paris, France, 2015

Darkroom and Digital, Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, California, 2012

Peter Fetterman Gallery, solo exhibition December 2011, Santa Monica, California, 2011

The Mind’s Eye: 50 Years of Photography by Jerry Uelsmann, Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL, 2011

Dances with Negatives, The Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, California, 2011

The Surreal Photography of Jerry Uelsmann, The Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, Florida, 2010

Just Suppose: The Art of Maggie Taylor and Jerry Uelsmann, The Art Institute of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, 2010

New Realities: Jerry Uelsmann + Maggie Taylor, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, California, 2010

Invented Realities, Chengdu International Photography Center, Chengdu, China, 2010

Maggie Taylor and Jerry Uelsmann: Intersections, John Cleary Gallery, Houston, Texas, 2010

State College of Florida, Bradenton, Florida, 2010

Just Suppose: The Art of Maggie Taylor and Jerry Uelsmann, Brevard Museum of Arts and Sciences, Melbourne, Florida, 2010

Outside In: The Transformative Vision of Jerry Uelsmann, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Art, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 2009

Just Suppose: The Art of Maggie Taylor and Jerry Uelsmann, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, 2008

Whispers of Blended Shadows, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan, 2008

Meditation...Navigation, Centro Internazionale di Fotorafia Scavi Scaligeri, Verona, Italy, 2007

Jerry Uelsmann: Imaginary Space, World Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2006

Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor, Seoul Museum of Photography, Seoul, Korea, 2006

Jerry Uelsmann, A Gallery for Fine Photography, New Orleans, Louisiane, 2003

Referencing Art-Photographs by Jerry Uelsmann, Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, Tennessee, 2002

Self Portrait: The Photographer’s Persona, 1840 – 1985, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1985

Mirrors and Windows: American Photography since 1960, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1978

Dream/Reality/Dream, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1977

Photography for Collectors, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1976

Collage and the Photo-Image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1973

Unique/Multiples: Sculpture/Photos, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1972

The Artist as Adversary, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1971

Portrait Photographs, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1969

Photography as Printmaking, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1968

Jerry Uelsmann, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, 1967


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