Preserving the artist's heritage
Martha Madigan

Artist Statement

Since the 1970s, my work as an artist has employed themes of nature and humanity as they inter-relate.  The cycles of the seasons and the rhythms of the sun dancing through days, months and years fill me with awe and inspiration. Time eludes and defines us simultaneously.  Time may be finally inseparable from place/body, but the historical conjunction of the two has come to mean domination of Nature.  Nature is expressed in a variety of ways in my work through the changing seasons and plant forms that are at the core of my work.  The process of my work reflects the passages of life and nature, seeking not an understanding of time, but rather an experience of the sacred presence within it.

In my figural works, I seek to celebrate the human spirit as it transcends the limitations of the body through a physical and spiritual connection with nature.  I represent nature in my work through depictions of the four ancient elements of earth, air, fire, and water, to symbolize the eternal presence within ever changing human nature.  These natural elements, which are present in all of our daily lives, rise above race, gender and age.

For more than forty years I have been creating solar photograms directly from nature, using human beings as well as a diverse selection of a variety of plants and animals as the source of my images.  The radiance of the sun as the essence of creation becomes a direct experience within the work.  The sun reveals the truth of human nature – that what we seek dwells quietly within the core of our beings.  The mysteries of continuous change and growth revealed in all forms of life captivate me on many levels.  My work is a direct experience of light and the fragility of life through the seasons.  Nature is a great teacher; it reminds me of the fullness and vitality as well as the death and decay that dwell within every living thing. 

Curriculum Vitae


1978   MFA-School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1976   Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY (Summer)

1972-73   Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (Graduate Studies)

1972   BS in Art Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison


2006 - present Chairperson, Department of Photography, Tyler School of Art/Temple University, Philadelphia

2004 - 2006 Professor, Temple University Rome, Italy

1989 - 2004 Chairperson, Department of Photography, Tyler School of Art/Temple University, Philadelphia

1985 - present Professor (Tenure) Department of Graphic Arts and Design (Photography) Tyler 

School of Art/Temple University (hired in 1973 as Assistant Professor)

Assistant Professor, Department of Graphic Arts and Design (Photography)  Tyler School of

Art/Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

1983-84 Chairperson, Department of Photography, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

1981 Sabbatical replacement for Carl Toth, Cranbrook Academy of Art,

Bloomfield Hills, MI

1978-79 Assistant Professor, Photography, Department of Art and Art History, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

1977-78 Teaching Assistant, Part-time faculty, Photography, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL  (Non-Silver Processes and Beginning Photography)


2010 “Summer Snow?” Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM), New York, NY, August 1, 2009-September 19, 2010

“Martha Madigan: Botanical Portrait,” Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ, April

“Martha Madigan: Infiorate,” Center for the Humanities at Temple University, Philadelphia, 

PA, January-August

2009 “Infiorate: Flower Carpet Paintings of Italy, An Artist’s Perspective” America-Italy Society,

Philadelphia, PA, March 6-May 2nd

“Martha Madigan: Botanical Portrait” Joan Shepp, Philadelphia, PA, February-March

2008 “Martha Madigan: Botanical Portrait” Ligne Roset, Philadelphia, PA, 

August 6-September 30

“Martha Madigan: Botanical Portrait” Tuska Center for Contemporary Art, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, February 15-March 7

2007 “Autumn Equinox: Human Nature” Mariboe Gallery, Peddie School, Hightstown, NJ,  

October 5-31

2006 “Martha Madigan: This World is Like a Garden in Bloom Only for a Few Days.” 

Villa Poniatowski, Rome, Italy

2003 “Martha Madigan: Graciela Growth”, Terminal F, Philadelphia International Airport, March 24 – September 15, Philadelphia, PA

“Martha Madigan, Solar Photograms: New Work”, POST (Philadelphia Open Studio Tours), October 18-19, Philadelphia, PA

2001 “Human Nature”, Hollins University, Roanoke, VA

“Vernal Equinox”, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY

“Martha Madigan, Recent Work: Solar Photograms”, Philadelphia Artists Open Studio Tours, October 20-21,  Philadelphia, PA

2000 United States Embassy Exhibition 2000, Art In Embassies Program, Windhoek, Namibia


2015-2016 “Photography and the Scientific Spirit,” John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI,October 25, 2015—February 14, 2016

2015 “The Print Center 100: Recollection,” The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA, September 18—December 19, 2015

“Cast by the Sun,” Queensland College of Art and Design, Brisbane Australia, and Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA

“Philly Photo Day” Billboard Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA, May 15—June 15, 2015

2013-2014 “Six: Women Photographers of the MidAtlantic,” Toni and Stuart B. Young Gallery, Delaware College of Art and Design, Wilmington,

Delaware, November 1, 2013-January 12, 2014

2013 “Cullowhee Mountain Arts Faculty Invitational,” Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, May 28 – July 26, 2013

“Art in City Hall: Library of Life,” Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA, March 11-Mary 24

“Photo Faculty Exhibition,” Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, January 24-February 9

2012 “Local Alternatives,” The Lightroom Gallery, Philadelphia. PA., July 13-August 18

2011 “Close at Hand: Philadelphia Artists in the Permanent Collection,” The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia PA, June 3 – Late Summer.

2009 “Third Woodmere Triennial of Contemporary Photography” Woodmere Art Museum, 

Philadelphia, PA, September 20 - January 3

“Summer Snow?” Children’s Museum of Manhattan, New York, NY, August 1-December

    “F295 Symposium on 21st Century Photography,” Center for Arts in 

    Society at Carnegie 

Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, May 28-31

   “Photography out of the Blue” Community Education Center, Philadelphia, PA, March 16 - May 22, 2009 “SELECTIONS: Original works from The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes by Christopher James, 2nd Edition” The Gershman Y, Philadelphia, PA, February 15 - April 12

2008 “Human Nature and Botanical Portrait” Weeks Gallery, Jamestown Community College, 

Jamestown, New York, October 6 - December 10

 “Elements” John Jellico Gallery, The Art Institute of Colorado, Denver, 

Colorado, March 1 - April 1

2007 "40th Anniversary Exhibition" Temple University Rome Campus, Rome, Italy, March - April

“Botanical Portraits” Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

“Art Within 20 Year Commemorative Exhibition” Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, Pittsburgh, PA, January 26 - April 8

“Sir Isaac's Loft,” The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA

2006 “Collage and Light,” Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery, Colby-Sawyer College, New 

London, NH, October 12, 2006 - November 9

“Sir Isaac's Loft,” The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA

2005 “Art In City Hall 1984-2005, Anniversary Exhibition” City Hall, Philadelphia, PA, 

October 31, 2005 - March 3

“Sir Isaac’s Loft,” The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA, July 15, 2005-July 15, 2015  “Main Line Collects: Distinctive Choices,” Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA, March 26 -  April 26 “Photography as Fine Art,” Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA, 

January 15 - March 31 (invitational)  “Picturing Difference: Gender and Representation in Contemporary Photography,” Washington State University Museum of Art, Pullman, WA, January 7-February 13

2003  “Going Public: Public Projects,” Center for Architecture Inaugural Exhibition, New York, NY, October 7 - November 26

“Not Just Another Reality Show,” curated by Stephen Perloff, Bucks County Communi

College Artmobile, Newtown, PA, June 2003 - June 

2002 “Philadelphia Professors of Photography,” ADM Group, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, 


 “A Celebration of Voices-The 25th Anniversary of A Woman's Place,” Fred Beans Gallery at the James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA, May 25 - September 8

“RE-Viewing Photography: the Photo Review @ 25,” The Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, March 1-31 (traveling)

“Ophelia Rising,” Temple Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, February 1 - March 9


Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI

California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA

The Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Madison Art Center, Madison, WI

Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL

Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge, CO

James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA

Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA


2009 Seasons, 1845 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

2003-04 Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field Murals, Philadelphia, PA

2002-04 PS/1S #499, (Public Elementary School), Department of Cultural Affairs, New York, NY

2000-02 Seasons, Temple University Children's Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA

1996 Elements, CoreStates Center (Wells Fargo Center), Philadelphia, PA


2015 Series of Artist Talks, Queensland College of Art, Brisbane, Australia, July-August

Juror, Artsbridge Annual Exhibition, Labertville, NJ

Moderator: “Considering Weston’s Women,” a panel discussion in association with the exhibition: “Weston’s Women: Edward Weston and Cycles of Influence,” Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown, PA, April 26

2013 “Photographic Solar Printing, Nature Inspired/Photograms Photography,” Cullowhee 

Mountain Arts, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC July 21 – July 26, 2013 

2013 “Parallax Gallery Talk,” Gormley Gallery, Notre Dame of Maryland University, March 4

2011 “Martha Madigan: Light Drawings,” Kohala Artists Community Cetner, Hawi, Hawai’i, February

2009 “Third Woodmere Triennial of Contemporary Photography,” Woodmere Art Museum, 

October 23

Society for Photographic Education National Conference, Tyler School of Art, Temple 

University, March

“Summer Snow?” Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, October 10

“Botanical Portrait,” F295 Symposium on 21st Century Photography, Center for Arts in 

Society at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, May 28-31

“Infiorate: Flower Carpet Paintings of Italy, An Artist’s Perspective” America-Italy Society of Philadelphia, March 4

2008 “Human Nature”, Weeks Gallery, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown, 

New York, October 4

“Martha Madigan: Personal Work” Tuska Center for Contemporary Art, 

University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, April

Visiting Artists Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, February 21


2016 Bau Institute Residency, Masseria Provenzani, Cabarete, Puglia, Italy

2009 Best Digital Printing – Large Format, Neographics – The Power of Print, sponsored by Graphic Arts Association in Philadelphia

Honored Educator Award, The Society for Photographic Education, Montclair, New Jersey

2007 Summer Research Award, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

2003 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) Fellowship (Visual Arts – Photography)

2002 Study Leave, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Independent Publisher’s Association, 1st Prize, Most Unique Design, “Vernal Equinox” (catalog of artist’s work),

 Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY, May

1999-2000 Tyler Merit Award, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA


2016 John Michael Kohler Arts Center. “Pele” in Brochure, January—February 2016. Cover.

Orvell, Miles. Photography in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. (p. 260; color reproduction Aestas, pl 26)

2015 Philadelphia Magazine, June 15. one reproduction. 

The Print Center 100: Recollection. Exhibition brochure. The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2015.

Fitzpatrick, Donal and Stephanie Lynn Rogers. Cast by the Sun: A Collaborative Exchange Photography Exhibition. Exhibition

Catalog Brisbane: Tyler School of Art and Queensland College of Art, 2015.

James, Christopher. The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, 3nd Edition.  Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning.(color reproductions pp. 626, 633, and 636)

John Michael Kohler Arts Center. “Life Lit Up: Photography and the Scientific Spirit.” John Michael Kohler Arts Center Newsletter,

September-October issue: 5, with illustration of Cosmos II by Martha Madigan.

“Habitat: Fresh Palette,” Philadelphia Magazine, June: 113-115. 

(color reproduction p. 115)

“These works of Art Spruce Up Our Spaces with a Bit of Nature,” Feature Story, CODAworx Magazine: Earth and Urbanism


2014 Hirsch, Robert. Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960. Focal Press: Massachusetts, 2014. 113-116. (color reproductions p. 113, 115, 116)

2013 Mayer, Gabriel. Architecture Glass Art: Franz Mayer of Munich, Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt. Hirmer: Munich, 2013

2009 Hirsch, Robert. Photographic Possibilities: the Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes. Elsevier Inc., Focal Press: Massachusettes, 2009. (color reproduction p. 146)

“Third Woodmere Triennial of Contemporary Photography,” exhibition brochure (color reproduction p. 2)

“Tyler Professor’s work adorns Walnut Street window,” in Temple University News 

Communications, March 17 (color reproduction) < /2008_2009/03/stories/madigan.htm>

2008 “Good Life Gift Guide” in Philadelphia Magazine, December 2008,

 (color reproduction p. 66)

Waldbieser, Jill. “Sea Life” in Philadelphia Home, Summer, p. 55-63. 

(color reproduction p. 55)

Faris Belt, Angela.  The Elements of Photography: Understanding and Creating Sophisticated Images. Burlington, MA: Focal Press. (eight color reproductions p. 208-211)

James, Christopher. The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, 2nd Edition.  Clifton Park, New York: Delmar Cengage Learning. (color reproductions pp. 423, 430 and 433)

Obarski, Susan. Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women, and Feminism. Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Hirsch, Robert. Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age. Burlington, Massachusetts: Focal Press. (color reproduction, p. 175)

2007 Van Dongen, Susan.  “Life Passages,” in Time Off, 12 October. (reproduction page 7)

Edwards, Kim. The Secrets of a Fire King, Camberwell, Victoria, Australia: Penguin Group. (color reproduction, front cover)

Blacklow, Laura.  New Dimensions in Photo Processes: A Step-by-Step Manual in Alternative Photography, Fourth Edition.  Oxford, UK: Focal Press. (color reproduction, page 110)