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Larry McNeil

Larry McNeil, Real Indians, 1977 (printed 2007), pigment print, 10 × 10 1/2 in. Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art. Gift Patrick Nagatani, 2016 (2016.4.1) © Larry McNeil

Larry McNeil

American, Tlingit/Nisga’a, born 1955

Larry Tee Harbor Jackson McNeil was born in Juneau, Alaska on May 12, 1955. He is from the Dakl’aweidi Kéet Gooshi Hít, Killer Whale Fin House in Klukwan Alaska, one of the oldest Tlingit clan houses on the Northwet Coast. He is a member of both the Tlingit and Nisga’a tribes.

He initially studied photography at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara and earned his M.A. degree from the University of New Mexico. His candidacy at UNM was actively advocated for by faculty member Patrick Nagatani, who recognized his potential. After graduating, McNeil was an instructor at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, serving as head of their Two-Dimensional Arts Department. He now teaches photography in the Art Department at Boise State University in Idaho. He has received fellowships including the Van Deren Coke Fellowship from the University of New Mexico; an Eiteljorg Fellowship (2012); and an Arts and Humanities Fellowship. Awards include the New Works Award from the national photography organization En Foco and the National Geographic’s All Roads Project Award (2006). His work has been shown throughout the Americas and Europe and he has participated in more than 55 exhibitions over the course of his career and had his work published numerous books, anthologies, journals, newspapers, and magazines. In 2015, his work was featured in the exhibition Índelible: The Platinum Photographs of Larry McNeil and Will Wilson” at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. McNeil has served as Co-Chair of the Boise State University First Nations conference and is Vice President of the Boise State University Cultural Ethnic Diversity Board. He has also been a guest lecturer at such places as the Barbican Gallery in London, The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. He has also worked as a successful commercial photographer. (Ware 2016)