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Ingeborg Gerdes (1938-2020)

Born and raised in Germany, Ingeborg Gerdes came to the United States in the mid-1960’s. She was living in Philadelphia when she decided to study photography and in 1970 received her Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. Over the years Ingeborg explored a wide range of subjects. Making photographs corresponded with her passion for travel, which took her to Europe, Mexico and Asia. Her fascination with the American West began with a road trip to Nevada in 1982 and became a decade-long project. Ingeborg showed her photographs in numerous one-person and group exhibitions, both nationally and abroad. She received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and participated in two Photography Survey grants. Her photographs are in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Norton Simon Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and the Berkeley Art Museum, among others. She taught photography for over two decades at the University of California, Santa Cruz, influencing a new generation of artists and undergraduate students. Throughout her life, Ingeborg maintained close ties to Europe, which is evident in much of her work, and frequently traveled between her home in the San Francisco Bay Area and Berlin, Germany.


2019 Westward, curated by Ann Jastrab, San Francisco Art Commission, City Hall, San Francisco

2018 Way Bay, Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California  

2015 New Photography, Berkeley Art Center. Berkeley, California

2006 Advancing the Moment, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, California

1996 *Western Landscapes, Berkeley Civic Arts Commission Addison Street, Berkeley, California

1994 *Roadside Vistas, Photo Gallery International, Tokyo 

1991 Time Bomb: Ingeborg Gerdes, Barbara Norfleet, John Pfahl, Robert B. Menschel Gallery, Syracuse, NY 

1987 *High Desert, Amerika Haus Berlin, Berlin

1986 *High Desert: Photographs from Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, Photo Gallery International, Tokyo

1981 Larry Fink, Lee Friedlander, Tod Gangler, Ingeborg Gerdes, Emmet Gowin, The 1980 Seattle Artist Portfolio of Photography, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

1981 American Photographs 1970-1980: From the Collection of the Washington Art Consortium, Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, Washington

1979 Jerry Burchard, Ingeborg Gerdes, John Spence Weir: Photographic Viewpoints, SFMOMA 

1979 Latent Image Group Show, Equivalent Gallery, Seattle, Washington

1979 *Alaska State Museum, Juneau, Alaska

1978 *Focus Gallery, San Francisco

1976 *Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, Oregon

1976 *Galerie Spectrum, Hannover, Germany

1975 Women of Photography: An Historical Survey, SFMOMA