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Bea Nettles artwork

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArt-0042

Scope and Contents

Bea Nettles artwork contains original prints from important series of the 1970's and 1980's, including Life's Lessons, Mountain Dream Tarot, Landscapes of Innocence, Complexities, and Rachel's Holidays. The seventies were rife with experimentation in photography and Nettles embraced this opportunity to veer away from traditional techniques. She altered works through hand-painting and sewing, used photo-mechanical processes, and incorporated fabric, Polaroid and xerography into her work. At the same time she was exploring certain feminist issues of the period: her role as a mother, raising children, home life, and family relationships. Her work from this period also delves into the unconscious, and touches on themes of birth, death and memory. The collection also contains seven artists' books. In total, there are approximately 88 pieces of artwork.


  • Creation: 1969-1992


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Bea Nettles has been exhibiting and publishing her autobiographical works since 1970. She has had over fifty one-person exhibitions, including the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Light Gallery and Witkin Gallery in NYC. Her works have also been shown internationally in major group exhibitions.

Her images are in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Polaroid International Collection, the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, the International Museum of Photography at the Eastman House, and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona. Her artists’ books can be found in special collections libraries at universities including Yale (Beinecke), Washington, and Virginia.

She taught photography and artists’ books from 1970-2007 at Rochester Institute of Technology, Tyler School of Art, and the University of Illinois where she is currently Professor Emerita.

Nettles continues to lecture and teach workshops internationally.


5 Linear Feet (2 oversize boxes)




Collection contains artwork created by Bea Nettles between 1969-1992. Formats include hand colored prints, artists' offset books, silver gelatin instamatic prints, dye transfer prints, photo-etchings, poster prints.


Each piece of work in this collection is in numerical order according to the donor's inventory.

Physical Location

C.S. North, Shelf 297

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Bea Nettles artwork

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to RIT Archive Collections by Bea Nettles in January 2011. Accession number(s): 11:16

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in September 2011.

Bea Nettles artwork
RIT Art Collection
Jody Sidlauskas
7 September 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA