Jeff Whetstone was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has been photographing and writing about the relationship between humans and their environment since he received a Zoology degree from Duke University in 1990. Whetstone received his MFA in photography from Yale University in 2001, and since then his work has been exhibited internationally. In 2007, Whetstone was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a body of photographs entitled New Wilderness. The following year he received the first Factor Prize for Southern Art. Since 2008, his work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New Yorker Magazine, Time Out New York, Village Voice, and Art News, just to name a few. He is represented by Julie Saul Gallery, New York.

Whetstone first exhibited his video work in 2011 when his experimental narrative short, On the Use of a Syrinx, premiered at the Moving Image Festival in New York. Whetstone is a 2012 recipient of a North Carolina Arts Fellowship in film and is Professor and Head of Photography at Princeton University. His work is in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum, the New York Public Library Collection, the North Carolina Museum, the Nelson Adkins Museum, the Nasher Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery.

Jeff Whetstone

Born 1968, Chattanooga, TN


B.S. Zoology, Duke University; Certificate in Film Studies 1990

M.F.A. Photography, Yale University 2001


Factor Price for Southern Art, 2008

John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 2007

North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, 2006, 2012

George Sakier Prize for Excellence in Photography, Yale University, 2001

Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council 1994 

Lyndhurst Foundation Fellowship 1991, 1992

Solo Exhibitions


The Batture Ritual, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

Pride and Pestilence, Biggins Gallery, Auburn University, AL


The Batture Ritual, Prospect.4 New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Crossing the Delaware, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY


Jeff Whetstone | Films and Photographs, Anne Leonowens Gallery, Nova Scotia School of Design, Halifax, Canada


Frame/Ablate, Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC


Seducing Birds, Snakes, and Men, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY


Outliers, John C. Smith University, Chapel Hill, NC


Post-Pleistocene, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC


Post-Pleistocene, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

Post-Pleistocene, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC

Post-Pleistocene, Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


Introducing Jeff Whetstone, Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

River of Earth Center for the Study of the American South, Chapel Hill, NC

Pioneer Species, Branch Gallery, Durham, NC


Jeff Whetstone, curated by Catherine Opie, Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angles, CA

New Wilderness, University of Virginia Art Gallery, Charlottesville, VA


Road in Site, Duke University, Durham, NC

Jeff Whetstone, West Virginia Museum of Art, Hunnington, WV


Zoolatry, Wallspace Gallery, New York, NY


Lay of the Land, One Front Gallery, New York, NY


River of Earth, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

MFA Thesis Exhibition Yale University, New Haven, CT


The Life and Times of City High, AVA Gallery, Chattanooga, TN


Here and Far, Chattanooga State Art Gallery, TN


The Photographs of Jeff Whetstone, Appalshop Gallery, Whitesburg, KY

Before the Flood, Watauga Recollection National Fold Festival, Chattanooga, TN


View from the Mountain, Appalachian Festival, Cincinnati, OH


A Few Fields in Prospect Hill, Perkins Library Gallery, Duke University, NC

Group Exhibitions


People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC

LAND AND SEA, Sculpture Flats, Chattanooga, TN

THUNDERFOXES, Camayuhs, Atlanta, GA

Fotofest, Inman Gallery, Houston, TX


Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC


Local Color, Lucas Gallery, Princeton University, NJ

PARTY BEUYS Or What Comes After Farce, Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York, NY

Photography Sees the Surface, curated by Aspen Mays, Higher Pictures, New York, NY


Area 919, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, NC

State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR

PhotoVision: Selections from a Decade of Collecting, Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

State of the Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art

Photographs and Films, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Canada


Pattern of Man, Catherine J. Smith Gallery, Appalachian State University, NC


Eden in Exile, Graham Gund gallery at Kenyon College, Gambier, OH

Persistence: The Rural in American Art, Graham Gund Museum at Kenyon College, Gambier, OH


25 Years/25 Artists, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

Moving Image Art Fair of Contemporary Video Art, Waterfront New York Tunnel, New York, NY

Southern Views, University of Virginia Art Museum, VA


Open Season, Flanders Art Gallery, Raleigh North Carolina Counterlives, Ackland Art Museum, UNC Chapel Hill, NC


Photo 50, Goldsmiths University, London Art Fair, London, UK

(super)natural, New York Photo Festival, Brooklyn, NY


Pulse Art Fair, New York Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

Photography, University of North Carolina at Asheville, NC


Photo Grids, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC

Glimpse, Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy

Life is but a Dream, Space 301, Mobile, AL

Rural Vernacular Space 538, Portland, ME


Now!, Gibbes Museum, Charleston, SC

Arcadia, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY

Forest Primeval, Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, GA

CrossCurrents, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NA


Bunker than Thou, Bemis Art Center, Omaha, NE

The Photographers Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, GA

International Artists Sujiacun Art Village, Beijing, China

CrossCurrents, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Daylight, Branch Gallery, Carrboro, NC


New American Talent, juried by Jerry Saltz, Arthouse, Austin, TX

Los Americanos, Arcuate Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, Mexico

New York University-Lynne Cohen Foundation Art Auction Sotheby's, New York, NY

Fact/Fiction, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT

Critical Mass, juried by Peter Scheldahl, 1708 Gallery, Richmond VA

Loom/Labeller, Chattam Label Mill, Pittsboro, NC


Holiday Shopping II, Wallspace Gallery, New York, NY

NADA Art Fair Art Basel, Miami, FL (through Wallspace gallery)

Violent Violence, Maatschappij Arti et Amicitae, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sylva Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery, New York, NY

Faculty Biennial Ackland Art Museum, UNC Chapel Hill, NC


Holiday Shopping, Wallspace Gallery, New York, NY

Seduire/Seduce, Sotheby's New York, NY

Indivisible, audio component – touring: Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, IL, Center for Creative Photography, Phoeniz, AZ, N.C. Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, NC, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA


Photowork, juried by Jeffrey Rosenheim, curator of photographs, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Poughkeepsie, NY


First Year Exhibition Yale University, New Haven, CT


Juried Exhibition Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, AL


The South By Its Photographers, Birmingham Museum of Art, AL, Colombia Museum of Art, SC


Al Smith Fellowship Awards Kentucky Arts Council, Louisville, KY

Selected Publications & Reviews

Asokan, Ratik, "Jeff Whetstone's The Batture Ritual," BOMB Magazine, January 2019

Droitcour, Brian, "Prospect.4," Art in America, January 2018

Wilson-Goldie, Kaelen, "Lotus Position," Artforum, November 2017

Blanch, Andrea, "The Clock," Musée Magazine, Issue No. 16 "Chaos," October 2016

"Jeff Whetstone," State of the Art, 2014

Pollack, Barbara, "Critic's Pick," Artnews, May 2009

Lee, Sasha, "Beautiful Decay," Issue X, September 2008

Parsons, Laura, "Whetstone's Masculine Nature" Art feature, The Hook, November 2006

Arcadia, "Goings on About Town," The New Yorker, August 2006

Meyers, Holly, "Around the Galleries: The Meshing of Man and Nature," Los Angeles Times, March 2006

Meyers, Holly, "LA Times Critics Choice," Los Angeles Times, March 2006

Fox, Cathy, "Photography at MOCA," Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 2005

Whetstone, Jeff, "River of Earth: Photographs and Essay," Daylight Magazine, October 2004

Saltz, Jerry, "New American Talent," Arthouse Texas Press, 2004

Aletti, Vince, "Jeff Whetstone, Zoolatry. Shortlist: Photo," VillageVoice, June 2003

Johnson, Ken, "Jeff Whetstone at Wallspace Gallery," New York Times, June 2003

Nelson, William, "Tension in a Circle of Serenity, The Photographs of Jeff Whetstone," Endeavors Vol. 19 No. 3, Spring 2003

Whetstone, Jeff, "Goings on About Town," The New Yorker, April 2002

Slavic, Elin, "Jeff Whetstone at the Alcott," Independent Weekly, August 2001

"Local Heroes Changing America," W.W. Norton, New York, 2000

"Southern Exposure," Summer 1995, 1999

"DoubleTake," Fall 1996

"The South By Its Photographers," The University Press of Mississippi, 1996

"Migrant Summer," Center for Documentary Studies, 1991


Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

The New York Public Library, New York, NY

Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL

Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO

Center for Documentary Studies At Duke University, Durham, NC

Gibbes Museum, Charleston, SC

Nasher Museum, Duke University, Durham, NC

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Sir Elton John Photography Collection, Atlanta, GA

Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, NC

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Using Format