Merry Moor Winnett (1951-1994) moved to North Carolina in the late 1970s and quickly established herself as the leading experimental photographer known for infrared, hand painted, toned, stitched and composite-printed images of seemingly endless innovation. Born in Virginia, Merry studied at Michigan State University and the University of South Florida. Her career as an award-winning photographer began in college with accolades from internationally acclaimed photographers, Jerry Uelsmann and Clarence John Laughlin.
She used literature including mythology, science fiction, poetry and popular culture as well as her own life experiences to produce unique and compelling photographs. Whimsical and complex images were predominant in her early career while the later years were mixed between the tragedy of cancer and the exuberance of life.
Her work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Guilford College, University of South Florida, High Point University, Reynolds Collection, Greenhill Center for Art, New York’s Floating Foundation of Photography and other institutions. She was a beloved teacher at Guilford College, Sawtooth Center and Salem College. With her best friend and husband, Tom Winnett, they contributed significantly to the art community, which still mourns her untimely death at age 42. Image: Untitled, Double Fan, toned and hand-painted, black and white photograph (gelatin silver). 1980