Judy Dater Biography

Judy Dater




Photographer Judy Rose Dater was born Judy Lichtenfeld in Los Angeles on June 21, 1941. The daughter of a movie theater owner and operator, Dater developed a love of film at an early age that would remain a source of inspiration throughout her career. She began her studies at UCLA, where she majored in Art in 1961, and then moved to San Francisco to attend San Francisco State. There she earned both her Bachelor's (1963) and Master's (1966) in photography.

In 1964 Dater met pioneering photographer and cofounder of Group f/64 Imogen Cunningham. They became close friends and in 1974 Dater took what would become perhaps her most famous work, "Imogen and Twinka at Yosemite," featuring Cunningham and the model Twinka Thiebaud encountering one another by a tree in the famous national park. This friendship led to Dater's introduction to and involvement with the West Coast's leading landscape and "sharp-focus" photographers Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, and Wynn Bullock, as well as Cunningham, among others.

Dater moved away from academic pursuit in order to follow photography at her own pace. She became especially known for her exploration of feminism as it presents in art, taking on themes such as the nude human figure, aging, and relationships as seen through the lens of the Second Wave. She published several books of photographic work, including "Women and Other Visions," published with then-partner Jack Welpott (1975); "Imogen Cunningham: A Portrait," (1979); "Judy Dater: Ten Photographs, Portfolio I," (1974); "Men/Women: Portfolio II," 1980; "Judy Dater: Twenty Years," (1986), "Cycles," 1992; and "Only Human," 2018; among others. Dater has taught in schools and at workshops throughout the U.S. and abroad, as well as extensively exhibiting until 2018, in both solo and group shows.

Her full CV, portfolios, and biography can be found at judydater.com.