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HomeContents > People > Photographers > George Krause

Dates:  1937 -
Born:  US, PA, Philadelphia
Active:  US
American photographer.

Preparing biographies

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Supplemental information

George Krause was born in Philadelphia in 1937. During the 1950s, Krause studied painting, drawing, sculpture and photography at the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA). While he was serving in the US Army between 1957 and 1959, Krause turned his attention fully to photography, spending his free time documenting the culture of the black neighborhoods in the racially segregated communities of South Carolina. He returned to Philadelphia in 1959 for more coursework at PCA, and he continued taking photographs of urban life. Krause enjoyed considerable early success with this social documentary work. In 1960, Edward Steichen purchased a photograph for the Museum of Modern Art. In 1963, Art in America selected Krause as the only photographer for its annual “Young Talent Award USA”, and the new MOMA photography curator, John Szarkowski, added seven Krause prints to the Museum’s collection. In the same year, Szarkowski curated Krause into the exhibition, “Five Unrelated Photographers” with Garry Winogrand, Ken Heyman, Jerry Liebling and Minor White, and the George Eastman House included Krause’s work in two exhibitions.
Krause subsequently moved in a less documentary direction, seeking images that were more ambiguous, more symbolically rich and open to interpretation. Bodies of work have included cemetery monuments, religious statuary, and an atypical series of nudes. In the volume “George Krause: A Retrospective,” published in 1991 in conjunction with a major mid-career exhibition, Anne W. Tucker, the curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, observed: “Krause explores intensely personal themes rooted in basic human concerns: sensuality, mortality, and mystery....His work is perpetually relevant because his issues are basic and vital to the human condition. Few viewers leave his exhibitions unmoved—be it by indignation, horror, pathos, or wonder.”
Krause has recently retired from the University of Houston where he established the photography department. Over the course of his career, Krause has been the recipient of numerous grants including the first Prix de Rome and Fulbright-Hays fellowships ever awarded to a photographer, two Guggenheim fellowships, and three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Krause has exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, and his work can be found in many public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY; the Library of Congress; the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris; the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
[Contributed by Gallery 339, November 2007] 

Internet biographies

Terms and Conditions

Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website

Internet resources

Terms and Conditions

George Krause ... 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Evans, Martin Marix (Executive ed.) 1995 Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) [Expensive reference work but highly informative.] 
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.175-176 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.] 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

• Szarkowski, John 1973 Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art (New York: The Museum of Modern Art) p.186 [Analyzes a single photograph by George Krause.] 
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