Dornith Doherty

doherty_300dpiDorothy Doherty has been awarded a 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. The Foundation has awarded Fellowships to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists in its eighty-eighth annual competition for the United States and Canada.

Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.
Photographer Dornith Doherty’s work explores the ever more complex relationship between the natural environment and human agency through photographic projects focusing on landscape stewardship and genetic resource preservation.

Doherty attended Rice University (B. A., cum laude 1980 with dual majors in Spanish Language and Literature, and French) where she studied with photographer Geoff Winningham. Inspired by the expressive possibilities of photography, she then continued her studies at Yale University School of Art (M.F.A., 1988) where she studied with Tod Papageorge, Richard Benson, and Tom Roma, and on her graduation the Yale faculty recognized her abilities with a Ward Cheney Memorial Award.

In 1994-1995, Doherty was the recipient of a William J. Fulbright Fellowship to Mexico. This residency marked the beginning of a decade-long project in which she created site-specific photographic still life’s that poetically re-envisioned culturally configured landscapes. Working in national parks in Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States, Doherty’s images recall shadow boxes or natural history museum dioramas, and the reflexive nature of her still life’s became a metaphor for landscape as construction.

Collectively, these assemblages suggested a complex narrative of the environment and served to evoke the immediacy of history and culture in the landscape. With the support of a Japan Foundation Fellowship, she expanded her project to include work in the historic gardens of Kyoto, where she created photographs that explored the mulit-century expanse of time manifested in the gardens and the profound philosophical differences in approach to the landscape.

Over the next four years Archiving Eden became a wide-ranging photographic expedition to trace in precise detail the elaborate systems of secure spaces and technological interventions involved in seed banking.

Dornith Doherty’s work is shown in exhibitions internationally; such as Earth Now, American Photographers and the Environment, New Mexico Museum of Art; Confined, Captive and Keeper in Contemporary Life, the Bluecoat, Liverpool, England; Indiana State Museum; Atlánticas Colectivas, Tenerife, Spain; the Festival de la Luz Photography Biennial in Buenos Aires, Argentina; FotoFest, Houston; and Flora and Fauna, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, among others.

In addition to her Guggenheim Fellowship, Doherty has received support not only from the Fulbright Foundation and the Japan Foundation, but also from grants from the United States Department of the Interior, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indianapolis Arts Council, the Society for Contemporary Photography, the Houston Center for Photography, and the University of North Texas.

She is currently Professor of Photography at the University of North Texas.

About the Guggenheim Foundation – United States Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1925 as a memorial to a son who died April 26, 1922.

The Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed.