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Maggie Taylor


Born in Cleveland Ohio, 1961

Education University of Florida, M.F.A., 1987 Yale University, B.A. in Philosophy, Cum Laude, 1983


Maggie Taylor was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1961, and graduated from Yale University in 1983 with a BA in philosophy. In 1987 she received an MFA in photography from the University of Florida. During this time her work evolved from black-and-white suburban landscapes to more personal and narrative color still-life imagery. Using an old 4x5 view camera and natural light, she photographed bits and pieces of the everyday: old toys, broken bottles, and animals from the garden. Since 1987 her still-life photographs have been exhibited in more that 60 one-person exhibitions throughout the U.S. In 1996 and 2001 she received State of Florida Individual Artist's Fellowships. Her current images explore the use of a computer and a flatbed scanner in place of a camera. By placing objects directly on the glass top of the scanner she is able to create a unique type of digital image which has some photographic qualities.


For more than six years now I have been using a flatbed scanner instead of a traditional camera to record and interpret the objects I collect. I frequent flea markets and search on eBay for old tintypes and toys that seem to have a story to tell. Then in my studio I make small pastel drawings as backgrounds and scan each element into my computer separately. Using Photoshop I am able to arrange and play with these layers in much the same way that I worked with objects in my studio for a still life photograph. I work very spontaneously and intuitively, trying to come up with images that have a resonance and a somewhat mysterious narrative content. There is no one meaning for any of the images, rather they exist as a kind of visual riddle or open-ended poem, meant to be both playful and provocative. Although my images are not traditional photographs, I definitely think of my scanner as a light-sensitive recording device. And there is a camera involved in making most of the images, it just happens that the camera was used over 100 years ago by a photographer who remains anonymous. Sometimes people are confused about my digital images and think that they are somehow reproductions of work that exists originally in some other form. I think of them as "digital originals" since they are created in my computer using a scanner and they do not exist on film. I do not photograph people, I am recycling 19th century unclaimed photographs of unknown people. Every once in a while I use a 35 mm point-and-shoot camera to collect bits of background material. When the image is finally done, which is a slow process and can take weeks or even months, I start to make proofs and then finished prints in editions of 40. My final prints are made on an Epson inkjet printer on a paper that gives the texture and look of a print or watercolor.


2005 The Ultimate Eye Foundation Grant
2004 Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Competition Winner 
2001 and 1996 State of Florida Individual Artist's Grant 
2000 Grand Prize Winner, Photo District News/PIX Magazine Annual Digital Imaging Competition


Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ 
City of Orlando, FL 
Davidson College Art Gallery, Davidson, NC 
Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL 
Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 
High Museum, Atlanta, GA 
Huntingtion Museum of Art, Huntington, WV 
Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL Musee de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium 
Museet For Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark 
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX 
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA 
San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX 
Prudential Insurance Company, Newark, NJ 
The Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL 
The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH 
The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA 
University of Louisville Photographic Archives, KY 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV


Maggie Taylor digital print process