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A photographic survey of the Columbia River from its source in British Columbia to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean

Robbie McClaran

January 4 - February 5, 2021


Mica Dam, Columbia River, British Columbia. Mica Dam, is the first, or uppermost dam of 14 on the main stem of the Columbia. Completed in 1973 it stands 801 feet above the bedrock. Ancestral homeland of the Secwepemc, Ktunaxa, Syilx tmix, and Sinixt People.

Robbie McClaran Artist Talk

The Alexander Gallery is pleased to support "The Great River of the West," a virtual exhibition of photographic images by Portland-based artist, Robbie McClaran on view January 4 - February 5, 2021. A Zoom artist talk will be held Wednesday, January 27 at 1 p.m. "The Great River of the West" is a photographic survey of the 1250 mile long Columbia River, from its source in the Canadian Rockies, to the confluence with the Pacific and explores its current cultural and economic landscape with an eye toward its significance in the history of the Pacific Northwest and North America.

This collection of photographs were made by use of an antique 8 x 10 camera and are a sampling of McClaran's documentation from over the past seven years. THE GREAT RIVER OF THE WEST is supported by The Regional Arts and Culture Council, The Ford Family Foundation and The Oregon Arts Commission. Robbie McClaran is an award winning photographer, whose work focuses on the American people and landscape. His work has appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, Time, Smithsonian, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated and has been collected by institutions including the Portland Art Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art and Walker Art Museum.

The Alexander Gallery supports the work of established and emerging artists. This exhibition and artist lecture is made possible by the Alexander Gallery endowment. For further information about this exhibition please contact Kate Simmons at or 503-594-3032

Robbie McClaran is a documentary and fine art photographer whose work focuses on the American people and landscape. His work has been widely exhibited and published, appearing in numerous magazines throughout the world.


He began his study in photography in 1975 at the Center for Photographic Studies and continued at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester NY where he studied with Joan and Nathan Lyons as well as many others.

Robbie’s work is held in several private and public collections including Portland Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art and Memphis Brooks Art Museum. The prints from his controversial book project Angry White Men are in the permanent collection of the University of Oregon.


His commissioned work has appeared in such diverse publications as Smithsonian, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Time, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Bloomberg, and Forbes.

His work has been featured in The Oxford American, Lenscratch, Plazm, Juxtapoz, Photo District News, The Photo Review, ID Design, and has been recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, American Photography, The New York Art Director’s Club, Graphis and Communication Arts. Robbie was a 2015 Critical Mass finalist.

He lives, works and teaches in Portland Oregon with his wife, Designer / Illustrator Lydia Hess and their two daughters.

Born: 1955, Pine Bluff, Arkansas


Education: The Center for Photographic Studies, Louisville, KY 1975-1976

Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY; 1976-1978




Portland Art Museum, Portland Oregon

New Orleans Museum of Art

Center for Creative Photography

Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Memphis Brooks Art Museum

University of Oregon, Special Collections Library, Eugene Oregon

Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis

Oregon Capitol Collection

Louisiana State Museum

Holter Museum of Art, Helena Montana

The Arkansas Arts Center

Visual Studies Workshop

Indie Photobook Library



Selected Exhibitions:


2019 - “Qualities of Light”, Center for Creative Photography, Tuscon, AZ

2019 – Bullseye Projects Gallery, Portland - Solo

2018 – “New Year’s Day” Hoffman Center for the Arts, Manzanita, Oregon - Solo

2017 – “Recent Acquisitions” - Portland Art Museum 2017 – “A Place in Time, Selections from the Permanent Collection” - Ogden Museum of Southern Art

2017- Ft Collins Museum of Art (group – Speaking Volumes)

2016 - InFocus – Phoenix Art Museum (group)

2016 – “Currents” (group), Ogden Museum of Southern Art

2016 - "Celebrating the Music Triangle", New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival / New Orleans Photo Alliance

2016 – “PDX 30” – Lightbox Gallery, Astoria, Oregon (Juried Group)

2016 – “People of the Northwest” – Chehalis Cultural Center, Newberg, Oregon (Juried Group) 2016 – Blue Sky Gallery Northwest Viewing Drawers – “July 4th, Rockaway Beach” – (Juried Group)

2015 - Severio Gallery / PhotoNOLA, New Orleans – Mardi Gras 1979 (Solo)

2015 – Houston Center for Photography (Juried Group)

2015 - Living Arts, Tulsa OK – Speaking Volumes (Group)

2015 - Blue Sky Gallery - Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers, Hot Rod (Juried Selection)

2014 - The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA - “Ordinary People” (Solo Show)

2014 - Lightbox Gallery, Astoria Oregon – “Delta / From Here On” (Solo Show)

2014 - Newspace Center for Photography – Art of Work – (Juried Group)

2014 - Blue Sky Gallery - Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers, Portland, Oregon, juried selection

2014 - Photo Place Gallery, Middlebury, Vermont – “The Human Altered Landscape”

2014 - New Orleans Photo Alliance – Masquerade – (Juried Group Show) 2013 - Newspace Center for Photography “From Here On” (Solo Show)

2013 - Gotthelf Art Gallery, San Diego Center for Jewish Culture – San Diego, CA - Speaking Volumes (Group)

2013 - Newspace Center for Photography, Juried Exhibition (Group)

2013 - Blue Sky Gallery - Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers, Portland, Oregon, juried selection

2013 - Lightbox Gallery, Astoria Oregon, Juried group show.

2012 - Newspace Center for Photography – Member’s Showcase –Juried Selection

2012 - Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Invitational (Invitational Group)

2009 - Louisville Photo Biennial, Actor’s Theater Gallery – Louisville, KY (Group)

2008 - Holter Museum of Art, Helena Montana - Speaking Volumes (Curated Group Show & Traveling Exhibit)

2008 - Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, Oregon - Angry White Men (Solo)

2001 - SK Josefsberg Studio - Portland, Oregon - Mid-Career Retrospective (Solo)

1999 - Forbes Gallery, New York City, (Group)

1999 - S.K Josefsberg Studio – Portland, Oregon - Surf (Group)

1998 - Harvest; AIGA Biennial, Portland, Oregon (Group)

1998 - Visual Studies Workshop – Rochester, NY - Angry White Men (Solo)

1997 - Powell’s Books Gallery – Portland, Oregon - Angry White Men (Solo)

1997 - Saba Gallery – New York City (Solo)

1996 - Submit; AIGA Biennial – Portland, Oregon (Group)

1994 - AIGA Biennial – Portland, Oregon (Group)

1992 - Tabula Rasa Gallery, Seattle, Washington – Away From Home; The Work of Four Photographers

1986 - Allen Street Gallery – Dallas, Texas - States of Texas (Group)

1978 - Franklin Furnace – New York, NY – Artists Books (Group)

1978 – Rochester Institute of Technology - Rochester, NY (Group)


Books – Editions

Mardi Gras, 1979: 2015

New Years Day: 2015

Barrow: 2015

From Here On: 2013

Delta: 2012

New Year’s Day: 2008

Ordinary People; 2002

Angry White Men; 1996

Paquime / Pine Bluff; 1994

Atget's Gardens; 1981

Greetings From Rochester; 1978

Un-identified Non-Flying Objects; 1977



Press / Reviews:


“Hot Rod Heaven” – Smithsonian Magazine – July 2019

“Mardi Gras 1979” – Know Louisiana, by David Johnson - December 2015

“All American Soap Box Derby” – – Feb. 2015 “Hot Rod” – Lenscratch, January 2015 Don’t Take Pictures – “PhotoNola 2014” December 2014 Oxford American, Eyes On The South – Robbie McClaran, Delta “Mardis Gras in 1979” This Is The What, March 2014 “From Here On” Lenscratch, January 31, 2014 “10 Minutes With Robbie McClaran” : Kate Osba, This Is The What Blog, September 2011 “Interview With A Photographer”, TMTPW Blog, Jennifer Stoots, 2011:

“Ordinary People”; Plazm # 29 2008

“Photographer Stays Out of the Picture”; by Steven Blair, Portland Tribune, August 2001

“Angry White Men”; by Jean Dykstra, The Photo Review, Fall 1997

“Best of Show - Angry White Men”: I.D. Design Annual, Spring 1997

“We, The Very Angry People”; by Bill Donahugh, The New York Times Magazine, April 1997

“Angry White Men”; Creativity, April 1997

“Do the Right Thing”; by Mark Lapin,Photo District News, March 1997

“White Flag on a Gray Backdrop”; by Steve DuinThe Oregonian, February 13, 1997

“It's a Black and White Issue”; by Randy GraggThe Oregonian, February 12, 1997

“Angry White Men”; by Randy GraggThe Oregonian, December 17, 1996

“Mad as Hell”; by Jaqueline McCarthyWillamette Week, October 30, 1996

“Robbie McClaran's Seperate Reality”; by Kinney Littlefield,Dallas Morning News, September 6, 1987 Teaching / Workshops / Lectures: Newspace Center for Photography – various classes 2010 – 2017

Pacific Northwest College of Art – Baccalaureate Mentorship 2019, Guest instructor 2018, Documentary / Photojournalism, 2009,- 2010 - Portraits and People, 2004 - Color Photography, 2003

Portland Art Museum, Photo Council Portfolio Reviews – reviewer - 2017 Clark College, Guest instructor Lighting - 2015

Photolucida Portfolio Reviews, _reviewer – 2009, 2011, 2019

Newspace Center for Photography – “20 Years After Angry White Men” – March 2017

Portland Art Museum – Brown Bag Lecture Series - October 2014

Portland Art Museum – Brown Bag Lecture Series - October 2011

University of Oregon – Journalism Dept. - October, 2010

Society for Photographic Education, NW Conference, October 2010

Photolucida – April 2009

University of Oregon –- April, 2008

Northwest Journalism Conference - 2005

PhotoAmericas - 2002

Leica Historical Society National Convention - 2002

Visual Studies Workshop – 2000

New York University – Photojournalism Dept. - 1997

Powell’s Books, Portland OR -1997

Blue Sky Gallery, Portland OR – 1996

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