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1936

Linn

Born in Oakland, CA, the second of four daughters to Carol and Dwight Baldwin.


World

Jesse Owens represents United States in the Berlin Olympics, Spanish Civil War.

1941–1945

Linn

The war years, and I am mesmerized by images of battle published in Life magazine.


World

Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Holocaust

1949

Linn

My father dies in January, just short of his 50th birthday.


For the next two summers my mother attends classes at the San Francisco Art Institute and studies photography with Minor White. She meets Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Dorthea Lange, among other Bay Area photographers.

1950

Linn

Mother starts a photographic portrait business in her home. I learn darkroom technique from her.

1951–1953

Linn

I am sent away to a small, private high school in Massachusetts and am initiated into the world of leftist politics.


In 1953 I enter UC Berkeley to study architecture and live at home. I meet fellow student Bill Underhill.


World

McCarthyism rampant, Rosenbergs sentenced to death for spying, Watson and Crick discover chemical nature of DNA.

1955–1956

Linn

I drop out of college and take classes at California College of Arts and Crafts and the San Francisco Art Institute, including a seminar with Dorothea Lange. She praises one of my photographs, which becomes a talisman for the years when I am postponing my career and raising kids.



World
Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on the bus.

1957

Linn

I marry Bill Underhill who has been drafted and we move to Heidelberg, Germany. We travel in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium.



World

Sputnik.

1958–1964

Linn

Birth of our three children, Sarah, Joe and Kate. Bill re-enters UC to earn an MFA in sculpture and studies with Pete Voulkos. We move from Berkeley to New Mexico to Connecticut to Brooklyn in search of fame and fortune, which elude us.



World

Castro, Kennedy assassination, Berlin Wall, Cuban missile crisis, “I have a Dream”, civil rights.

1969

Linn

Bill gets a teaching job at Alfred University and we move to upstate New York where the kids go through public school.


World

Vietnam, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, moon landing.

1972

Linn

My mother dies suddenly from a fall on the basement stairs.


World

Munich Olympics.

1974

Linn

My younger sister dies of melanoma, pregnant with her second child, leaving a two-year-old daughter and a grief stricken husband.


World

Nixon resigns.

1975

Linn

Our oldest daughter, Sarah, graduates from high school, goes to Outward Bound in Maine, and runs away from home.


World

Final pullout from Vietnam.

1976–1982

Linn

1976 My husband has a mini-nervous breakdown. I decide to take control of my life.


1977 I spend the summer in Rochester in an internship at the George Eastman House and a workshop with Nathan Lyons. I have an affair with a woman and come out as a lesbian. Bill and I separate.


1978 I earn my BFA from Alfred University, studying with John Wood and Jesse Shefrin.


1978–1982 I buy a house in Rochester and move in with my youngest, Kate, and Tina. I start the graduate program at Visual Studies Workshop. There I study with Joan and Nathan Lyons and Keith Smith and meet Catherine Lord, Martha Gever, Adam Weinberg , Sally Stein, Martha Rosler, and Allan Sekula among a host of interesting and stimulating students and visitors.


World

Soweto, Elvis dies, ERA, Sandra Day O'Connor, 3-Mile Island.

1982

Linn
Tina writes a tofu cookbook and tests her recipes on us. She finally leaves me for another woman. I earn my MFA and publish an artist’s book about my sister’s death called Thirty Five Years/One Week.
World

Israel invades Lebanon, Marine barracks bombing.

Thirty Five Years/One Week

1982

1983–1984

Linn

I hook up with Nancy Gonchar and move to thirty acres in Lisle, New York. Residency at Light Work, Syracuse, NY, and NEA Artist Fellowship.



World

Geraldine Ferraro is the first woman vice-presidential candidate representing a major American party.

1985–1991

Linn

I hold a number of adjunct, part-time and short-term teaching positions at Ithaca College, Cornell University, Binghamton University, Rutgers University, and Syracuse University. I meet Eunice Lipton and Ken Aptekar, who remain lifelong friends and supporters.


Six of my grandchildren make their appearance between the years 1985 to 1997, with the seventh joining us in 2005.


World

Gorbachev, Challenger, Chernobyl, Oliver North, Berlin Wall comes down, Tiananmen Square.

Forever

1986

Work

Fresh out of grad school, newly divorced and armed with theories about appropriation, I take on my mother’s archive of wedding photographs to comment on the imperfect institution of marriage.


The smiles are from the faces of brides and grooms, enlarged to 30” square; the texts alternate between the lyrics of romantic love songs and lists of the banal parts of marriage that sometimes spoil the fun.

View Forever

1988

Linn

I meet my partner, Ann Carter. Nancy and I split up. I spend a week in Sonoma County, California, on the ranch where my father grew up, hoping to find some trace of him.


World

Act Up.

1990

Linn

Ann and I spend the summer in Florence where I teach in the Syracuse University Summer Program. I receive my second NEA Fellowship.

1991

Linn

Ann and I have a commitment ceremony at our home in Lisle and I start teaching at Colgate University.



World

Anita Hill, end of Desert Storm.

Claiming the Gaze

1991–1993

Work

I aim to subvert the ways in which women are photographed in advertising and other public media, photographing my friends and family assuming a pose—in this case the unfamiliar and unaccommodating pose of female toughness.

View Claiming the Gaze

1996

Linn

I turn sixty and friends and family give me a beautiful canoe.

The Tomboy Suite

1996

Work

Friends who attend a conference about "Sissies and Tomboys” comment on the dearth of material about tomboys as compared to the wealth of material about sissies. I offer this as a museum for tomboys—a place, in which the lost histories of hidden desires are made visible and legitimate.

View The Tomboy Suite

NoMan's Land

1998

Work

I discover the work of George Platt Lynes and embark on work that will become NoMans Land.


Based on 1940s portraits taken by the gay photographer George Platt Lynes. Lynes invests these portraits of the heroes of my youth with a sensual softness that is clearly homoerotic. I think it would be interestingly perverse if I insinuate myself into their clothes and pose, embracing their glamour, appropriating their success.


World

Matthew Sheppard.

View NoMan's Land

The Cosmic Dominatrix

2000–2001

Work

Someone asks, “What are you going to do next? Female drag?” If I really want to be perverse, maybe the only way to do it is to masquerade as a woman


Linn

A quick trip to Paris where I give a talk about my work at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.


World

9/11.

After All

2002–2003

Work

After All. Images from an aging interior.


Linn
A brief encounter with breast cancer.

View After All

2003

Linn

Barry Kim and crew build our studio.

Vertical and Horizontal

2004

Vertical and Horizontal—Standing and Lying Down
Work

Vertical, an image of the road to Stinson Beach, is 5’ 8¼” tall, my full adult height. Horizontal, taken in the woods outside my house in upstate New York, is 5’ 7¼” long, my current length.

View Vertical and Horizontal

2005–2007

Linn

2005 A sabbatical year.



2007 I buy a used Leica M6 and a Linhof 4x5. Fall semester in London with a great bunch of Colgate students. Elgin Marbles, Stonehenge, side trip to Athens.

Tres Riches Heures

2005

Work

Tres Riches Heures—a first attempt at expressing some of the pleasures and pains of family life.

View Tres Riches Heures

2008–2009

Linn

Ann and I hit a serious bump in the road. I move to the studio and start living alone. Ann returns to school to become a physical therapy assistant.


My youngest sister dies of lung cancer.


World

Obama elected.

2011

Linn

Ann gets a job an hour away and moves to be close to her work. A trip to France to visit Ken and Eunice, and Arles. Then I turn my attention to my immediate neighborhood.

Oregon Hill

2011

Work

Oregon Hill Photos—an overdue attempt to get to know my neighbors, residents of the country road where I have lived for almost thirty years.

View Oregon Hill

One Year and 8-Acre Field

2012

Work

One Year One 4x5 image every Saturday for a year, out my back window into the woods.


View One Year

8-Acre Field A walk along the path I mow around the field, and a series of interventions in the landscape.


View 8-Acre Field

2012

Linn

The Havana Biennale with my friend Leigh Kane. I begin renting out the house as a vacation destination. Ann and I reconcile. Bill is back in the picture on holidays and family get-togethers.

Plenty

2013

Work

I begin a proof sheet diary made with the Leica. Family snaps and sublime nature come together in Plenty. The proof sheet is a record of prosaic moments, presented in the context of a larger frame.

View Plenty

2014

Linn

After 22 satisfying years of teaching, I begin to phase into retirement. Work, family, friends, lovers, a dog and two cats, walks in the country.

1936 1941–1945 1949 1950 1951–1953 1955–1956 1957 1958–1964 1969 1972 1974 1975 1976–1982 1982 1982 1983–1984 1985–1991 1986 1988 1990 1991 1991–1993 1996 1996 1998 2000–2001 2002–2003 2003 2004 2005–2007 2005 2008–2009 2011 2011 2012 2012 2013 2014