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William Wegman

William Wegman

7 p.m. Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Moderated by WAMC's Joe Donahue

Main Theatre, UAlbany Performing Arts Center

1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222 See map.

Free and open to the public. No registration required.

William Wegman is a beloved American artist known throughout the world for photographs and videos that feature his Weimaraner dogs in a variety of costumes and poses.


Wegman's work is held in the permanent collections of major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He has also created film and video works for Saturday Night Live, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Street and appeared on The Tonight Show, The David Letterman Show, and The Colbert Report.

The author of many books for children, Wegman is also the creator of numerous short segments featuring his dogs for "Sesame Street." His new book is William Wegman: Writing by Artist (2022), his first collection to focus on his multifaceted and deeply funny relationship to language, spanning the early 1970s to the present.

About the book 

Writing by Artist is the first collection to focus on William Wegman’s lengthy and deeply funny relationship to language and is filled with previously unknown and wildly entertaining texts, drawings, and early photographs spanning the early 1970s to the present.

Not your standard book of essays, the publication was meticulously edited by Andrew Lampert to feature works incorporating words in one form or another. In some instances, the text is simply a caption or a few hand-written words, but all of the selected works hinge conceptually and pictorially on writing and language.

Writing by Artist offers a wide range of entry points into the artist’s universe. There are early photographic works, which may be familiar, but from there, things delightfully unravel with absurd non-sequiturs typed on Princess Cruises stationary, imagined restaurant reviews, witty annotations to a curator’s essay, musings on ancient footwear, deliberate mistranslations, reworked greeting cards, fictional advertisements for real life products, and other surprising prose forms.

Ultimately, Writing by Artists alters the logic and pushes the boundaries of what artist writing can be—shedding new light for those only familiar with Wegman’s later work, while serving as a welcome reminder of the artist’s madcap inventiveness for the already enlightened. In short, what you do or don’t know about William Wegman now conveniently fits into this strangely beguiling collection.

William Wegman, Writing by Artist book cover
About The Creative Life: 

Created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio, this series features leading figures from a variety of artistic disciplines in conversation with WAMC’s “Roundtable” host Joe Donahue about creative inspiration, craft, and career. 

More about The Creative Life series.

Major support for The Creative Life is provided by the University at Albany Foundation and University Auxiliary Services.

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