M.F.A. Photography, 1987, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT

B.A. Political Science, 1980, cum laude, The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO


Awards and Grants:

North Carolina Arts Council Teaching Grant. Fall, 2013. Grant to teach workshop with Belle Boggs in Columbus County, NC.

Mary Duke Biddle Semans Foundation, Durham, NC., 2008

Grant to support photography work at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Fairview, NC.

Kenan Family Foundation, Chapel Hill, NC., 2008

Grant to support photography work at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Fairview, NC.

North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Grant. 2006.

Individual artist grant to support work in progress.

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Living Traditions Grant. 2005.

Funding toward completion of Rank Strangers, The Story of Mrs. Hyatt’s OpraHouse, a film and music CD project with team including Rod Murphy, film director, Asheville, NC.


Solo Exhibitions

Useful Work: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm by Ken Abbott, Turchin Center for Fine Art, Boone, NC. Feb 2 – May 6, 2017.

•Useful Work: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm by Ken Abbott, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC. June 2 – September 10, 2016.

Heritage & Home: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm by Ken Abbott, Asheville Art Museum. July 18 - October 11, 2015

Pop Up exhibition – Kevin Hogan’s studio, Asheville – panoramas and recent work. February, 2015

•Useful Work – The Legacy of Hickory Nut Gap Farm portfolio – Center for Studies of the American South, Chapel Hill, NC. Summer 2014

Unauthorized Panoramas - Ruffin Hall Photo Gallery, Studio Art Department, University of Virginia. October-November, 2013.

•Landscapes from Western North Carolina - Ruffin Hall Photo Gallery, Studio Art Department, University of Virginia. March-April 2011.

•Hickory Nut Gap Farm portfolio – Fine Art Gallery, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, June 2009.

•Photographs from the River District, solo exhibition, Clingman Avenue Cafe gallery, Asheville, NC. May 2006. Sponsored by the River District Artist’s Association.

Photographs from Mrs. Hyatt’s OpraHouse, Pack Place Gallery, Asheville, NC. Accompanied the local premier of the documentary film Rank Strangers, at Asheville Film Festival. October, 2005.

On the Margins: Images of a Changing Landscape, solo exhibition, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR. April 1998.

•Photographs by Ken Abbott, The Midtown Y Photography Gallery, New York, NY. February 1994. Michael Spano, gallery director.


Group Exhibitions

•Slow Exposures Pop Up exhibition, curated by John Bennette, September 16-18, Zebulon, GA.

Asheville Stockyards: Brownfield to Brewery. Asheville Area Arts Council Gallery, guest curated by Ken Abbott, featuring work by Ken Abbott, Zen Sutherland, Lisa Smith, Elaine Bleakney, and Rod Murphy. January 15 – February 20, 2016.

•Slow Exposures: Celebrating Photography of the Rural South – September 18-30, Zebulon, GA

Ordinary World: American Landscape Photography and Modern Documentary Style

August 31 – December 15, 2013, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR.

Onward Compe 2013, Project Basho group exhibition, juried by Mark Steinmetz. Philadelphia, PA

The Printed Picture, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. October 2008, guest curator Richard Benson.

•Working Group, Asheville Hatchfest Photography Exhibit, Blue Spiral Gallery, Asheville, NC. Conference participant exhibitor. April 2009.

•Appalachian Photographers Project Group show – Slocumb Galleries, Department of Art and Design, Eastern Tennessee State University. 2010.

•North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship Group Show, Rocky Mount Center for the Arts, Rocky Mount, NC. June-September, 2008.

•Winter Show, Greenhill Center for the Arts, Greensboro, NC. December 2007.



•Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

•MoMA, New York, NY

•Yale Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

•Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

•Center for the Study of the American South, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

•WCU Fine Art Galleries, Cullowhee, NC

•Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies, Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, NC

•Turchin Fine Art Center, Boone, NC.

•Paine Webber, NY

•Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA

•American Art Resources, Houston, TX

•Colorado Historical Society, Denver, CO

•The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

•Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Durham, NC

•Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, Colorado Springs, CO


Selected Publications and Reviews:


•Art Can Help, by Robert Adams. “Because wilderness is gone…”, an essay about my work. 2017, Yale University Press.

•Useful Work:  Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm. A monograph with approximately 100 photographs, and an essay by the artist, and historical essays by Rob Neufeld. Published with design and editing by GoosePen Studio and Press, Hickory, NC.

Words Without Pictures, respondent. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Charlotte Cotton, editor. 2007.

Four Landscapes, essay by Robert Adams, 2006 Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin. Includes a reproduction of one of my pictures as well as the essay about the picture.

Rank Strangers: Photographs from Mrs. Hyatt’s OpraHouse, CD booklet of my pictures, Harvest Records and 614 Films, Asheville, NC. 2005.

The Ethical Function of Architecture, by Karsten Harries. MIT Press. 1996.

Selected Publications and Reviews cont’d:


Slate, Behold, The Beauty and History of Hickory Nut Gap Farm in North Carolina, August 21, 2016. 

Photo District News Photo of the Day, History, Work and Beauty on a North Carolina Farm, June 28, 2016

Oxford American’s Eyes on the South, Curated by Jeff Rich, Intactness and Continuity. May 16, 2016, by Aline Smithson. March 10, 2016

Aperture Magazine blog, Heritage and Home: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm, review by Diana Stoll. August 19, 2015


My commercial photography has been included in numerous annual and special reports, university promotional materials, newspapers including The New York Times and USA Today, and magazines including National Geographic, Life, Time, and Scientific American. I have photographed four MacArthur fellows, three Nobel Laureates, and First Lady Hillary Clinton, as well as the Reverend Jesse Jackson, comedian Bob Hope, and singer Neil Diamond.



Independent artist. Currently using a PhotoMast to lift a medium format digital camera for elevated panoramic images.

Photography instructor, Art & Design Department, Western Carolina University. Part-time. Cullowhee, NC. 2006-2008.

Principal Photographer, Department of Public Relations and Publications. University of Colorado at Boulder. Duties included studio and location photography for University publications and press releases, photography for numerous national and international print media, supervision of two staff positions, student employees, management of facility, overseeing budget, acquisition of employee development opportunities and equipment. 1987-2002.