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Mary Randlett, Landscape #11, 1988

Mary Randlett: The Northwest art scene loses a legend

We are sad to learn of the passing of a Northwest Legend, photographer Mary Randlett. For decades, Randlett captured some of the most iconic landscape and portrait photography from the region. Born and raised in Seattle, Randlett graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla followed by an apprenticeship with Hans Jorgensen.

As a documentarian of the Northwest School of artists, Randlett captured portraits of notable artists including Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Guy Anderson, and Jacob Lawrence, as well as writers and poets Theodore Roethke and Tom Robbins among others.

Randlett’s mysterious nature photography focused on the unique landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Her expansive photographs of water and land formations are rich in energy, contrast and reverence for the region’s beauty. Of particular note to local audiences, Randlett documented many areas of Bainbridge Island, including the early years of the gardens at Bloedel Reserve.

Her photographs are held in more than forty permanent collections nationally including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington and numerous others including Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA). Her work is included in BIMA’s Permanent Art Collection — four nature photographs are currently on view in BIMA’s 1st Floor Exhibition. Randlett’s work was also included in BIMA’s inaugural exhibition First Light in summer 2013, and in Women in Photography in summer 2017.

Her work has appeared in more than 175 books and catalogs and she received numerous awards including the Washington State Governor’s Art Award and Anne Gould Hauberg Artist Images Award.

The Northwest art scene has lost a legend.

“My life is my work; my work is my life.” — M. Randlett

Mary Randlett, Landscape #11, 1988