Sam Abell, Pears
Sam Abell, Trumaine

Sam Abell, Branding

Sam Abell, Fallen Tree


Sam Abell, Stadium

Through photographs, contact
sheets, multi-image assemblages
and texts, the exhibition traces the diverse paths that led to the
artist’s finished images
and examines
his life and influences.

Sam Abell, Self Portrait with My Father

Sam Abell, Fish Tank

The exhibition, on view
July 19–September 15, 2002,

at the University of Virginia
Art Museum, Charlottesville,
presents the artist’s work
from the period 1960–2001.


Sam Abell, Car in Ditch


Sam Abell
The Photographic Life

For more than thirty-five years, Sam Abell has worked as a photographer, traveling extensively and documenting the lives and environments of peoples of all cultures. He has made in-depth photo essays for books and magazines and is particularly known for his work for the National Geographic Society. At the same time, he has maintained a career as an artist, teacher, and author. Often, the raw material for his photography comes from close contact with remote, even austere, regions of the world.

To affirm and emphasize his commitment to what actually exists, Abell has chosen to work in color in a strictly documentary tradition. Among his best known books are Distant Thunder: A Photographic Essay on the American Civil War (1988, Thomasson-Grant), Contemplative Gardens (1990, Howell Press), The Inward Garden (1995, Little Brown & Company) and Australia (1999, National Geographic Society).

Exhibition Facts

Number of framed photographs: 77 total

Exhibition is in four sections:
I. Seeking the Picture–12 prints
II. The Photographic Life–19
III. Sam Abell’s Garden–17
IV. Essays–8 from Australia

8 from Newfoundland
7 from Canoeing Essay
Singular Images–6

Estimated space required:
305 running feet
(includes 12" between frames)

Estimated number of crates: seven
Exhibition fee: $8,000
plus pro-rated shipping,
for an eight-week venue

Monograph: Approximately 10 with exhibition
Additional to be purchased at cost

For an exhibition prospectus write or email:
University of Virginia Art Museum
P. O. Box 400119
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4119

Jill Hartz, Director
Suzanne Foley, Curator

Pears, Moscow, 1983
Chromogenic print, 16 x 24"
© Sam Abell and
National Geographic Society

Stadium, University of Kentucky,
Lexington, 1968
Gelatin silver print, 9 3/8 x 14"
© Sam Abell

Trumaine, Cape York Peninsula, 1995
Chromogenic print, 22 x 14 3/4"
© Sam Abell and
National Geographic Society

Self Portrait with My Father,
Sylvania, Ohio, 1975
Gelatin silver print, 16 x 24"
© Sam Abell

Fish Tank, Hagi, Japan, 1980
Chromogenic print, 14 3/4 x 22"
© Sam Abell and
National Geographic Society

Branding, Montana, 1984
Chromogenic print, 16 x 24"
© Sam Abell and
National Geographic Society

Fallen Tree, Noatak River, Alaska, 1976
Chromogenic Print, 16 x 24"
© Sam Abell and
National Geographic Society

Car in Ditch, Cape St. Mary's,
Newfoundland, 1972
Gelatin silver print, 9 3/4 x 14 1/2"
© Sam Abell