About the Photographer
Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1939, Laura Volkerding completed a BFA at the University of Louisville (1961) and an MA in graphic design at the Institute of Design in Chicago (1964). She began her career as a photographer in the 1960s using a 35mm camera, although she soon after transitioned to using larger negative formats. In the late 1970s she used a medium format camera with square negatives to make black and white photographs of inhabited landscapes, as in the image Campground, Sandhills, Nebraska (1978). In the mid-1970s, Volkerding also began making panoramic photographs, often composed of multiple contiguous frames, ranging from diptychs to eight-part images. Volkerding is also known for her photographs of the Compagnons de Devoir, master artisans in France with a long historical lineage who are devoted to the restoration of historical monuments.
A professor for nearly thirty years, Volkerding initially taught at Rosary College and the University of Chicago, both in Illinois, before taking a position at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. She passed away from a malignant brain tumor in 1996. A substantial archive of Volkerding's work is held at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson.