A fiercely independent artist, Rondal Partrigde has spent seven decades building a body of work that reflects his aesthetic integrity, eccentric temperament, and fascination with every aspect of the world around him. The result is a visual history like no other: the changing landscapes of Yosemite National Park and the San Francisco Bay Area: striking images from rodeos, junkyards, and flea markets: and an amazing assembly of still lifes, portraits, and unclassifiable but arresting compositions.
Rondal began helping his mother, Imogen Cunningham, in the darkroom at age five. At seventeen, he became Dorothea Lange's apprentice, driving her up and down the back roads of California as she created her well-known images of migrant laborers. In 1937 and 1938 he worked with Ansel Adams in Yosemite, taking the now-famous photograph, Ansel in the High Sierras, 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 unique genius leads him. He has chosen to be, as he says, "the least publicized of the old-fashioned California photographers."
For nearly 80 years he has been a professional photographer, making breathtakingly intimate portraits, devastating environment statements, stunning architectural images, and capturing telling moments of California history.