Gary Tepfer

Views of a Herder’s World

Landscape and Culture in the Mongolian Altai

This exhibition of Cibachrome photographs by Gary Tepfer reflects over twenty years of field work in the Altai Mountains of South Siberia and Mongolia. Through that extended experience, Tepfer and his wife, Professor Emerita Esther Jacobson-Tepfer, have come to understand the essential intersection of landscape, environment and cultural change.

The region, known as the cradle of Turkic civilization, is inhospitable and harsh by any standard, but it provides the livelihood for a population made of semi-nomadic herdsman of Turkic and Mongolian stock. Gary Tepfer had the opportunity to travel to that remote part of the world through his participation as project photographer for Jacobson-Tepfer’s research in rock art and monumental archaeology in North Asia. When they look back, those years have proved to be one of the most significant experiences of their lives. The land in which the couple worked, the friendships they developed, and the opportunities to observe and participate in the daily lives of Altai herders profoundly affected the way Tepfer and his wife looked at that world and its rich cultural remains. Through his photography, the artist hopes to share with visitors these experiences and the insight he has gained from them.

Gary Tepfer received his B.A. from the University of Oregon and has shown his photographs throughout the United States and internationally. They can be found in the collections of: the Library of Congress, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Brooklyn Museum, Biisk Art Museum, Harvard Art Museums, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Rose Art Museum, among others.

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 27, 1 – 3 p.m.
Artist Talk: 2 p.m.

Exhibition Dates:  May 26 – July 8, 2023

Video of Gary Tepfer’s Artist Talk

Review by Randi Bjornstad for Eugene Scene

Please click on the thumbnails for more information.