Joan Myers has spent a lifetime learning and exploring. Born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1944, she attended Stanford University, where her concentration on Renaissance and baroque music performance led to a B.A in 1966 and a M.A. in musicology in 1967.
In the early 1970’s Myers turned to photography. She began as a large-format platinum-palladium printer, examining and photographing the relationships between people and the land. Her highly acclaimed work has been the focus of three Smithsonian exhibitions, more than fifty solo and eighty group shows, and eleven books. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Amon Carter Museum, Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, Center for Creative Photography, Denver Art Museum, George Eastman House, High Museum of Art, Minneapolis Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of Modern Art, Nevada Museum of Art, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.
In 2002, the National Science Foundation awarded Myers an Antarctic Artists and Writer’s Grant to photograph at McMurdo Station, surrounding field stations, historic huts, and the South Pole during the 2002-2003 austral summer. Her four-year traveling SITES show entitled “Wondrous Cold: an Antarctic Journey” opened at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC in May 2006, accompanied by a book published by Smithsonian Books.
In the process of completing the Antarctica work, Myers gradually phased out platinum printing and now works entirely digitally, printing all her own work in her studio. In 2012, Myers’ book “The Jungle at the Door: A Glimpse of Wild India” was published by George F. Thompson Books. A book entitled “Fire and Ice: Timescapes”, published by Damiani Editore in 2015, centers on volcanic and geothermal sites around the world. “I’ve always been fascinated,” she says,” by what I cannot see and by what goes on beneath my feet.”. A collaboration with poet Nathaniel Tarn, entitled “The Persephones”, was published in 2016.
Her most recent work concentrates on the myth of the American West and is entitled “Where the Buffalo Roamed: Images of the New West” (published by Damiani Editore in 2019). She maintains her residence and studio near Santa Fe, New Mexico.