Siegfried, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Siegfried, Toronto, ON, Canada

Known for her work in portraiture of self and others, meditative landscapes and photographic narrative, Siegfried has worked with the historical process of platinum for over twenty-five years and has exhibited her images in Canada, the US, Italy, Germany, Japan and Mexico. In recent years, she has expanded her mode of presentation to include archival digital prints and wet plate collodion. Siegfried’s photographs have been reproduced and discussed in such publications as SHOTS magazine, Schwarzweiss, La Fotografía Actual, Camera Arts, Photo Life Magazine, ARTNews, and The Women’s Daybook. Her first book entitled LifeLines was published in 2000 and includes a literary introduction by the National Book Award Winner Andrea Barrett. Siegfried’s work is represented in many private and public collections, including the Aaron Copland House in Cortlandt Manor, New York; Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan; the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in Ottawa; and the Peter E. Palmquest Women in Photography International Archive held at the Beinicke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Further information on the works of Elizabeth Siegfried is available at


Over twenty-four years, the primary focus of my work has been on self-portraiture. The flexibility of this genre has enabled me to comment not only on the unavoidable and constant changes that occur to our bodies and psyches, but also on similar changes in the world around us. Exploring elements that deeply affect us – memory, the passage of time, denial, connection and renewal – my self-portraits strive to be both universal and intensely personal.


I present my self-portraits in two ways: as singular expressions unto themselves; and in sequence with other images to create photographic narratives. Two such narratives are: my book LifeLines, which offers a symbolic journey through life’s inevitable cycles by juxtaposing self–portraits with images of transformation in Nature; and An Hour of the Wolf: Nightmare Quadrangle, in which self-portraiture, combined with still life and landscape, personalize and intensify the unsettling content of the narrative.


As long as I have taken self-portraits, I have worked in the historical process of platinum, a medium that enhances the timeless quality in each image while at the same time creating unprecedented elegance in tone and detail. Although platinum is my first choice in technique, in recent years I have explored producing selected self-portraits as iris prints, resulting in images larger in size than is possible through the platinum process.


Aaron Copland House Collection, Cortlandt Manor, New York
Alliance Française de Toronto Collection, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
High Falls Advisors, Rochester, New York
Women in Photography International Archive, Beinicke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
The Photography Collection, School of Image Arts, Ryerson Polytechnic University     Ontario, Canada    
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, Canada
Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan            
Women In Transition, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sage Rutty & Co. Inc., Rochester, New York


LifeLines 2000 Hathaway Press
An Hour of the Wolf: Nightmare Quadrangle   2008 Blurb Books
Extinct   2008   Blurb Books
Off Season   2010   Blurb Books