About the Photographer
American, b. 1943
Ruth Thorne-Thomsen primarily uses pinhole cameras to create surreal landscapes by juxtaposing real environments with collaged images and objects. A variety of interpretations can be surmised from Head with Ladders, Illinois: the figures inspect the remains of a lost civilization, conduct a surgical procedure on an unearthly being, or contemplate a metaphorical climb toward knowledge. Lyrical and surreal, Thorne-Thomsen's photographs were the subject of The Museum of Contemporary Photography's 1993 exhibition and monograph Within this Garden: Photographs by Ruth Thorne-Thomsen.
Born in New York in 1943, Thorne-Thomsen received a BFA in painting from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (1970), a BA in photography from Columbia College Chicago (1973), and an MFA in photography from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (1976). Her images have been shown internationally at venues including the Alternative Museum, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Houston Center for Photography; Musée d'Arles, France; and Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, among numerous others.