Richard G. Ramsdell

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Richard G. Ramsdell
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Gloversville, New York
CitizenshipUnited States of America
AwardsNational Endowment for the Arts/Southern Arts Federation Fellowship

Richard G. Ramsdell (born 1957) is an American digital artist, filmmaker and photographer.

Early life and education

Born in Gloversville, NY, Richard G. Ramsdell moved with his family multiple times before settling in Lancaster, PA where he attended High School. In 1975 he began college at the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) where he studied photography. His teachers included: John Pfahl, Wes Kemp and Elliot Rubenstein. At this time he began creating photographic blends (seamlessly printing two or more negatives together to form a single impossible image); a process pioneered by O.G. Rejilander in 1854. Ramsdell spent his junior year abroad at Salzburg College (Austria) studying Art History and Photography. During this time he visited art museums in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Florence, London, Munich, Paris, Prague and Rome. Ramsdell graduated from R.I.T. in 1979 with a B.F.A. in photography. In 1980 he began attending the University of Florida's M.F.A. program, studying with Jerry N. Uelsmann, Evon Streetman and Wallace Wilson. Ramsdell continued his darkroom-centric work while abandoning the camera and beginning to print from appropriated snapshot negatives. He received an M.F.A. in 1982.


Having moved to Sarasota, FL[1] after graduate school he continued to collect old negatives and photographs (including glass plate negatives, tintypes and daguerreotypes) and began adding text to these.

From 1989-1995 he worked as a photography technician at the Ringling School of Art and Design (RSAD). He began creating photographic blends digitally on a Macintosh computer in 1990.[2] In 1992 he was invited for a three week residency at the Ecole Nationale de la Photographie in Arles, France by director Alain Desvergnes. One year later Ramsdell abandons analog photography.

In 1995 he began creating large scale digital murals, the first of which was installed at the University of Idaho Pritchard Art Gallery; it measured 144x512 inches. Ramsdell returned to RSAD in 1997 to teach Computer Illustration until 2000. From 1999 through 2001 he taught photography and electronic media at the University of South Florida in Tampa.[1]

In 2000 Ramsdell began making digital videos. He suspended his art career in 2002. In 2005 he began work on a serial internet video project called Bristel Goodman. The project was launched online in December of 2006 and quickly became the Alternate Reality Game: Bristel Goodman[3]. Eventually the project morphed into a feature length film which premiered at the 2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival

In 2016 Ramsdell returned to his art career by designing and illustrating three electronic books: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Culture Clash: The Art of Richard Gardner Ramsdell, and Urban Legend: The True Story Of The Cooper Family Falling Body Photo, a fiction ebook inspired by the internet sensation[4][5] variously called the Cooper Family Ghost and The Cooper Family Falling Body, about an old family snapshot “discovered” on the internet that appears to show a body falling from above a family group and being captured at the shutters' release. In reality this was an image that was pirated from one of the artists' early websites.

Honors and awards

  • 1995 Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts/Southern Arts Federation[6]
  • 1993 Individual Artist Grant, Art Matters, NYC[7]
  • 1991 Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts/Southern Arts Federation[8]
  • 1987 Finalist, National Endowment for the Arts/Southern Arts Federation



  • “4th Annual Video Marathon”, Art in General, New York, NY
  • 2nd Tagawa International Short Film Matsuri, Tagawa, Japan


  • “Making Pictures: Contemporary American Photography”, Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC[9]


  • “Featuring Florida”, John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL


  • “Panavision”, University of Idaho, Prichard Art Gallery, Moscow, ID
  • “Blue Sky 20th Anniversary”, Oregon School of Arts & Crafts, Portland, OR
  • “Featuring Florida”, John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL[10]
  • “The Assembled Image”, Palm Beach Photographic Museum, Delray Beach, FL
  • [email protected]”, University of Nebraska Art Gallery, Omaha, NB


  • “Richard Ramsdell” Blue Sky - Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Portland, OR[11]
  • Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS
  • “Third Annual New York Digital Salon”, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY[12]
  • “LiveWire”, The University of Derby, Derby, England[13]
  • “European East-West Art Festival”, Wroclaw, Poland
  • “COFAX ‘95”, The Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • “Between and Combined, Regarding History & Fiction in Portraiture”, Art Workers’ Union, Memphis, TN


  • “Innuendo”, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL


  • “Featuring Florida”, John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL


  • “SCAN ‘92”, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA
  • “National Showcase Exhibition”, The Alternative Museum, NYC, NY
  • “Richard G. Ramsdell”, Polk Community College Art Gallery, Winter Haven, FL


  • “New Visions”, Florida Center for Contemporary Art, Tampa, FL


  • University of South Florida Art Museum, Tampa, FL


  • “Perceptive Perspective”, Florida Center For Contemporary Art, Tampa, FL[14]


  • “The Tallahassee National”, Capitol Building, Tallahassee, FL


  • “Young Experimental Photographers”, Jacksonville Art Museum, Jacksonville, FL


  • “What Artists Have To Say About Nuclear War”, Nexus Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA

Film and video

  • Singularity, digital video, 9:47 minutes, 1.33:1, 2001
  • S.O.S., digital video, 13:48 minutes, 1.33:1, 2001
  • Water Torture, digital video, 10:57 minutes, 1.33:1, 2002
  • Bristel Goodman, feature film, 92 minutes, 16:9, 2014
  • Projections & Reflections, digital video, 6 minutes, 16:9, 2014


  • Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona State College, Florida[15][16]
  • The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art
  • Ecole Nationale de la Photographie
  • The University of Idaho Prichard Art Gallery


  • Culture Clash: The Art of Richard Gardner Ramsdell, electronic book, self-published. 2016
  • Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, electronic book, self-published. 2016
  • Urban Legend: The True Story Of The Cooper Falling Body Photo, electronic book, self-published. 2016


  1. 1.0 1.1 Porter, Terry (1995). "Richard Ramsdell". Art of Living (July 1995): 12–14.
  2. George Dillon (2008). "Kinds of Photomontage: Section 3". Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  3. "Alternate Reality Game".
  4. "Debunked: Cooper/Copper family ghost photo".
  5. "1959-Cooper Family Falling Ghost Photo".
  6. Patti and Clifford Heenie (1996). "Richard Ramsdell". Aperture. Supplement. Southern Arts Federation (Summer): 8.
  7. "Grant Program". 1993.
  8. D. Eric Bookhardt (1992). "Richard Ramsdell". Art Papers. 16 (3). ISSN 0278-1441.
  9. "Asheville Art Museum in Asheville, NC, Features American Photography".
  10. Mary Ann Marger (1998). "Art with a continental eye". Tampa Bay Times.
  11. "Richard Ramsdell".
  12. Bruce Wands (1995). "Curator's Statement". The MIT Press.
  13. George Dillon (2004). "Montage/Critique: Another Way of Writing Social History".
  14. Laura Stewart (1988). "Art Professor's Work On View At UF Gallery". Orlando Sentinel.
  15. "Object Record".
  16. "Object Record".

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