William Wegman: Improved Photographs

Jepson Center May 12–August 13, 2017

05374_pat_400William Wegman (American, b. 1943) is an internationally-renowned artist with a prolific career spanning more than five decades. William Wegman lives in New York and Maine where he continues to make videos, take photographs and to make drawings and paintings that he has maintained since the early 1970s.

William Wegman became a household name for his enigmatic photographs of his beloved Weimaraners. This presentation highlights the artist’s personal sense of humor as well as the importance of mark-making and gesture that is central to Wegman’s practice as an artist exploring many media over decades. The exhibition at Telfair Museums will focus on a selection of the artist’s early conceptual videos, drawings and altered photographs from the 1970s and 1980s and will also include the large format Polaroid collaborations with his dogs for which Wegman is so well known, along with a group of his most recent postcard paintings.



About William Wegman
William Wegman was born December 2, 1943 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He received a BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in 1965 and an MFA from the University of Illinois Champagne-Urbana in 1967. Wegman’s photographs, videotapes, paintings, and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. His retrospective William Wegman: Photographs, Paintings, Drawings and Video toured throughout Europe including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Kunstmuseum, Lucerne; the Frankfurter Kunstverein; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Recent exhibitions have included touring retrospectives of Wegman’s work in Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, and Korea. In 2006-2008, Funney/Strange, a retrospective of Wegman’s paintings, drawings, videos, and photographs, toured the US, appearing at the Wexner Center, the Smithsonian and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Wegman lived and worked in Los Angeles in the early 70s, a key figure in what came to be known as West Coast Conceptual art and a pioneer in the developing medium of video art.  He began working with his dog, a Weimaraner named Man Ray, in the early 70s and is perhaps best known for his work with his ever growing cast of Weimaraners.  This collaboration includes several decades of work with the 20 x 24 Polaroid camera; video and films for Saturday Night Live, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Street; a feature length film, The Hardly Boys in Hardly Gold and commissions ranging from the Metropolitan Opera and Wallpaper Magazine to a cover for the New Yorker.  Wegman has appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and with Jay Leno, The Colbert Report and the David Letterman Show.

Wegman is the author of numerous books for adults, over a dozen books for children and, most recently, William Wegman: Paintings (spring 2016/Abrams) with essays by Martin Filler, Amy Hempel, Robert Krulwich and Susan Orlean.  A new book surveying almost fifty years of Wegman’s will be published by Thames and Hudson in 2017.  Wegman lives in New York and Maine.




William Wegman
Pat, 1997
Color Polaroid
24 x 20 inches
Courtesy William Wegman
© William Wegman

William Wegman
Drawing Hand, 1975
black Ink on Silver Gelatin Print
mounted size: 22 x 16 Inches
Courtesy William Wegman
© William Wegman