(From Wikipedia, the free
William Wegman (b. 1943 in Holyoke,
Massachusetts) is an artist best known as a photographer who has created a
series of compositions involving dogs, primarily his own Weimaraners in
various costumes and poses.
Wegman reportedly originally intended to pursue a career as a painter. He
received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Massachusetts College of
Art in 1965 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1967.
While teaching at California State University, Long Beach, he acquired the
first and most famous of the dogs he photographed, a Weimaraner he named
Man Ray (after the artist and photographer). Man Ray later became so
popular that the Village Voice named him "Man of the Year" in 1982. He
named a subsequent dog Fay Ray (a play on the name of actress Fay Wray).
On January 29, 1992, Wegman appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny
Carson and showed a video clip of "Dog Duet," his 1975 short of Man Ray &
another dog slowly and mysteriously peering around. Wegman explained that
he had created the video by moving a tennis ball around, off-camera, thus
capturing the dogs' attention.
Wegman's photos are well-respected in the art world, are are held in
permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum
of Art, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the Smithsonian American
Art Museum. His photos and videos have also been a popular success, and
have appeared in books, advertisements, films, as well as on television
programs like Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live. In 2006, Wegman's
work was featured in a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, the
Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Norton Museum of Art, and the Addison
Gallery. The Brooklyn Museum explored 40 years of Wegman’s work in all
media in the 2006 retrospective William Wegman: Funney/Strange.