About the Photographer
Tice, George A.
American, b. 1938
George Tice has been making eloquent black and white photographs of the American cultural terrain for five decades, finding poetic qualities in the commonplace elements of both urban and more rural settings. In the manner of Walker Evans, he works in a documentary style but with an artistic sensibility that goes beyond simply creating a photographic record. His photographic projects look closely at a specific place, and Tice devotes himself to in-depth explorations of his subjects, often expanding his long-term photographic essays into a book.
In the 1960s, for one such project, Tice began an eight-year photographic exploration of traditional Amish communities in Pennsylvania. Around this time, he also began using a large-format view camera. As demonstrated in photographs such as Open Buggy and Large Farm (1965), the results are highly-detailed images with an incredibly rich tonal range. Tice's longest-lasting subject, however, is his native New Jersey, which he has photographed to various ends since 1967. These thorough studies, which have focused on the urban landscape, vernacular architecture, and his family's three-hundred year history in America, have been gathered in monographs such as Urban Landscapes, Paterson, and Ticetown.
Tice was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1938 and began taking photographs a young age. He joined a camera club as a teenager and briefly studied photography at a local vocational high school, but he is largely self-taught, learning through his own initiative. He dropped out of high school after a couple of years and became an assistant for a local portrait studio. Later, in 1956, he enlisted in the Navy, where he worked as a photographer's mate. One of the photographs he made during his military service, an image of an explosion on a U.S. warship, came to the attention of Edward Steichen, who purchased it for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. For the next decade Tice worked as a portrait photographer before turning his attention to personal projects in the 1960s. He is also renowned as a master printer and has printed portfolios of photographs by Edward Steichen, Frederick H. Evans, and Edward Weston.