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Born 1939 (Dublin)

Alen MacWeeney was born in Dublin in 1939. He is an internationally renowned photographer, currently based in New York. He began working in photography in his teens, winning several awards for his early works. At 16, he was given his first job as a press photographer at The Irish Times. He worked for a year before leaving to pursue his own work. Several years later, MacWeeney sent a letter to Richard Avedon, asking to be his assistant. Avedon hired MacWeeney and brought him to work in both his NYC and Paris studios, giving MacWeeney the opportunity to travel at the young age of 21.1

Bio & Career

MacWeeney soon became impatient with the limitations of studio photography. He returned to his home in Dublin, traded in his 120 camera for a new 35mm Leica, and began trying his skills in street photography. This period of MacWeeney’s practice marked the development of what became his signature style. MacWeeney has carried this style of photography throughout his career and into today, even using 120 in the vein of his street photography, as can be observed in his Yeats (’65) and Travellers (’65-’67) works. The composed, gritty images compliment his subjects, made obvious in works as early as his Pennsylvania photographs taken in the Amish Country in 1962, to his 1980s New York Subway photographs where his style is especially exemplified.

Alen MacWeeney is still active, living in New York City and Sag Harbor, and traveling to Ireland often. His collection was recently acquired by University College Cork in Ireland, where it will be archived and maintained. His works are featured in the permanent collections of many prominent museums such as MoMA, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and more, as well as in private collections of institutions such as Columbia University, Boston College, and elsewhere. MacWeeney’s collection continues to grow as he continues printing in his personal studio darkroom and photographing in the analog and digital mediums.

External links & References

  1. “Bio” Alen MacWeeney