About the Photographer
American, b. 1940
Born in Chicago, Betty Hahn completed a BA at Indiana University (1963) with a focus in drawing and painting. She turned to photography as a graduate student and, at the suggestion of Henry Holmes Smith, began to experiment with alternative photographic processes such as gum bichromate printing. Hahn further developed this line of inquiry throughout her career, creating a body of work that centers on photography while challenging conventional ideas of the medium and incorporating a range of artistic techniques. Robert Rauschenburg and Andy Warhol were important influences on her and Hahn has often used photographic imagery in combination with a variety of other media, such as lithography, painting, or embroidery. Reflecting the spirit of these investigations, Hahn's thirty-year retrospective at the Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe in 1996 was playfully titled, "Betty Hahn: Photography or Maybe Not."
After completing an MFA at Indiana University (1966), Hahn worked briefly in the slide library at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She moved north to Rochester the following year and from 1967 to 1968 she participated in Nathan Lyon's Visual Studies Workshop alongside Robert Fichter, Thomas Barrow, Roger Mertin, and Alice Wells. Hahn taught at Rochester Institute of Technology until 1975. She was subsequently offered a position at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where she was a professor of photography until her retirement in 1997.