Click on an image for a larger view and the artist’s gallery
Son of the renowned photographer Imogen Cunningham, Partridge began helping his mother in the darkroom at the age of five. At seventeen he became Dorothea Lange’s apprentice, driving her up and down the back roads of California as she created her indelible images of migrant laborers. In 1937 and 1938 he worked with Ansel Adams in Yosemite, taking the now-famous photograph, “Ansel in the High Sierra, late 1930s.”
Intimately associated with the great California photographers of his time, Partridge absorbed all the techniques his teachers could give him, yet he wears this lineage lightly, dedicating himself to following the paths down which his own genius leads him. For nearly 70 years he has been a professional photographer, making breathtakingly intimate portraits, devastating environmental statements, stunning architectural images, and capturing telling moments of California history.
In January 2003, the California Historical Society Press and Heyday Books will publish Quizzical Eye: The Photography of Rondal Partridge, by Sally Stein and Elizabeth Partridge (Rondal’s daughter). The Oakland Museum and the California Historical Society (San Francisco) open exhibits of Partridge’s work on January 18, 2003, featuring his California and outdoor photography and his fine arts photography, respectively.
Partridge, 85, lives in Berkeley, CA and still photographs every day.