Urgent Museum Notice

Justine Kurland

A light-skinned adult womand with bobbed brown hair stands against a white wall wearing a sleeveless dress with a colorful geometric print. On the wall behind her hangs a color photograph of a light-skinned person working outside under the hood of an old red car.

Photo by Olya Turcihin

Born in 1969

Kurland was born in Warsaw, New York. Her mother sold costumes at Renaissance fairs, so Kurland and her sister lived a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. At 15, Kurland ran away to Manhattan, moved in with a sympathetic aunt, and concentrated on becoming an artist.

She earned her M.F.A. from Yale University in 1998. The following year, Kurland exhibited in the group show Another Girl, Another Planet, which critics considered a preview of a new generation of talented and innovative female photographers.

Both Kurland’s childhood adventures and her current experiences influence her working style and subject matter. She now spends much of her time on the road, scouting locations for photographs and recruiting models.

While her earlier photographs of schoolgirls were inspired by her own experience as a runaway, the birth of her son Casper in 2004 shifted her focus to pregnant women and mothers. Kurland also attributes her more recent photographs of trains and train stowaways to Casper’s love of those vehicles.

Artist Details

  • Name

    Justine Kurland
  • Birth

    Warsaw, New York, 1969

Works by Justine Kurland

Waterfall, Mama Babies

Justine Kurland’s art is a vital part of the efflorescence of the staged photograph that began in the late 1990s. She creates her photographic series during extended road trips through the American Northwest or South. Using volunteer models she meets during her travels, Kurland constructs scenes of people rambling through the wilderness landscape.

After giving birth to her son in...

Photograph of a splendid landscape scene featuring a cliff, waterfall and stream. Nude mothers with their children sit on rocks or play in the stream. The human figures are dwarfed by blocks of green foliage in the lower left corner and walls of steep rock covered subtly by moss.