Remembering Terry Toedtemeier

February 15, 2009

Pacific Northwest College of Art honors former Associate Professor of Art and History and Terry Toedtemeier with an exhibit in the PNCA Printmaking/Photo Gallery.

As a scientist, historian, photographer, and curator, Terry Toedtemeier observed, taught, recorded, and collected examples of the awesome power of erosion by time and elements. With his camera, he could halt the forces of heat, wind, or water to bring us a sense of time and place if only for a frame. His life, work, and passing are a testament to the power of suspending one moment in the geological permanence of ages.

Through Terry’s 30 years of artistic contributions, he touched not only the community of Pacific Northwest College of Art, but had an impact regionally and nationally through the galleries, museums, and colleges that exhibited and collected his work. While an Associate Professor of Art and History at PNCA, Terry’s strong ties to Oregon’s landscapes and cultures made him a vital part of the college’s academic and artistic life. Beginning as a graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in geology, Terry melded his science with his art. For more than 20 years, Terry was Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum. He was also one of the founding artists and co-directors of Blue Sky Gallery. Terry’s work is included in the collections of the National Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

Manifesting his ardent devotion to both photography and the geological wonders of his home, Terry’s crowning achievement was his sweeping historical photography book entitled _Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge, 1867-1957_. His work gave rise to an equally well-received exhibit he curated at the Portland Art Museum. The book will be on view in the State Capitol as part of a two-year exhibit on the history and geology of Oregon.