Alturas Foundation selected Laura McPhee as its initial Artist in Residence in 2003. Ms. McPhee worked during the subsequent two years in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, capturing images that address Americans’ conflicting ideas about landscape and land use, and our values about our relationship to the natural world. In 2006, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, featured her Idaho work in River of No Return, an exhibition of forty 6′ X 8′ contemporary photographs from more than eighty she created during her Alturas residency. In 2008 with Alturas Foundation support, Yale University Press published a collection of the Idaho images also entitled River of No Return, which features an introduction by U.S. poet laureate Robert Haas. In 2013, with support from Alturas Foundation, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri exhibited twenty-eight of McPhee’s large scale photographs from River of No Return.
Laura McPhee was born in Manhattan, and grew up toward the end of a dirt road in central New Jersey. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work, which ranges from portrait to landscape to still life, is widely exhibited nationally and internationally. She is a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and lives in Brookline, MA. Ms. McPhee is a prior recipient of a Fulbright Scholars’ Fellowship to India and Sri Lanka, a New England Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.