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Résumé Bill Ganzel

Bill Ganzel                        2451 Park Ave.
                        Lincoln, NE 68502


University of Nebraska-Lincoln, BA, major in journalism with minors in English, history and sociology. Extensive coursework in art photography with photographers Jim Alinder and John Spence.

Completed coursework for a Masters of Journalism Degree, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Recent Highlights

Spring 2018 – My photograph of Florence Thompson and her daughters (AKA Migrant Mother) was accessioned into the permanent photographic collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Spring 2016 – Two of my photographs were included in the Sheldon Museum of Art's Permanent Collection Gallery. The photos are in a gallery devoted to depictions of the human form, and my images are from the 2x20 project (see below). My photos are 16x20-inch prints of a male and female model with excerpts from interviews silkscreened on gelatin silver prints.

June - August 23, 2015 – "Land of Enchantment: New Mexico as Cultural Crossroads" group exhibit at the Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln. My landscape photograph "Thunderstorm New Mexico, 1991" was included in this group show drawn from the permanent collection of Sheldon. The photo was shot with my 11x14-inch camera and printed at 32x40-inches.

November 2014 – "Twelve Photographers at Tugboat Gallery" Two of my photographs included in this group show at the Lincoln gallery. Curated by Keith Jacobshagen.

November 2014 – My photograph of Florence Thompson and her daughters (AKA, Migrant Mother) is featured in curator Frank van der Stok’s article "Kill our Icons!" in the magazine Memory Machine, published by Castrum Peregrini Press of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Memory Machine is a magazine plus series of exhibitions, debates, and performances initiated by Castrum Peregrini with 19 Dutch institutional partners. The English translation of the article is here.

December 2013 – Produced "Cultural Pioneers: A History of the Sheldon Art Association" hour-long documentary, in collaboration with Laurie Richards of Flicka Films of Lincoln.

July 2013 – One photograph included in the Sheldon Museum of Art's Statewide touring exhibit "Picturing Nebraska." My photograph Sioux Trading Post, Ogallala NE is included in the exhibit that will be touring communities throughout Nebraska through June 2014. This exhibition highlights 14 artists in the Sheldon Museum of Art's permanent collection whose works interpret the experience of life on the Great Plains.

April 2011 – Recipient of the Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship merit award for filmmaking.

June 10-13, 2011 – Invited to be a featured speaker for the 2011 Dutch Doc Days celebration of documentary photography at Utrecht, The Netherlands. Curator Frank van der Stok invited me to talk about my book, Dust Bowl Descent, as well as the ongoing work on "Sixties Survivors." Frank is the author and editor of the book Questioning History: Imagining the Past in Contemporary Art published by NAi Publishers. Other speakers included Mark Klett, creator of The Rephotographic Survey and other books; Argentinean photographer Marcelo Brodsky; and German photographer Joachim Schmid. The Dutch Doc Days Web site is here.

2011 – Academy Award winning documentarian Errol Morris included an interview he did with me in his book Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography. The interview concerns questions of veracity in documentary photography, my work on Dust Bowl Descent, and the work of FSA photographer Arthur Rothstein. I did an interview with Rothstein in 1977. Morris writes that his favorite image in my book is the one of Darrel Coble "Fleeing a Dust Storm." "It's the little boy – now a middle-aged man – underneath a painting of Rothstein's photograph. There is something so strange about this image being reinvented and recreated, and recreated once again in your photograph years later with the painting of the photograph behind him… It reminds me of the power of images, about fathers and sons, about the adversity of the dust bowl, about the distance in time that separates us from events in the past – and all of that hovers around him in your photograph." A PDF version of the full interview is here.

March 2012 – In his review of Errol Morris' book Believing is Seeing in the magazine Art in America, Andy Grundberg pulled a quote of mine from the book. Some critics have charged that many of the FSA photographs are fakes as some elements in the photographs, like a cow's skull, have been moved or staged. Grundberg wrote, "Photographer Bill Ganzel, who in 1974 [actually the late 70s] spoke with and photographed many of the people from the iconic FSA images, dismisses the charges as irrelevant, saying that the pictures accurately portray 'a larger reality.'" (page 70)


1979 – Present: Owner of The Ganzel Group Communications, specializing in writing, graphic design (for both print and Web applications), photography, video production and project management.

2009 - 2010: Consultant and grant writer for KeyOn Communications, Inc., of Omaha, for a series of ARRA Stimulus Funding grants to build rural broadband connectivity through the USDA Rural Utilities Service. One grant was funded for a total of $10 million in grants and loan funds.

October 1998 – April, 2003: Executive Producer for Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, Interactive Media Group, Lincoln, NE. Supervised a staff of four producers and three media encoding specialists.

2001 – Present: Grant reviewer for various media proposals for the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Nebraska Humanities Council (NHC). In addition, NHC invited me to help them redesign their media grant making procedures.

1995 – 1999: Adjunct Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Taught introduction to journalism, photography, communications theory and documentary video production.

November 1986 – October 1998: Executive Producer of the News and Public Affairs Unit, Nebraska Public Television Network. Supervised a staff of five producers. The Unit was responsible for all news and public affairs programming on the statewide public television network. Programs included documentaries, weekly series and special events like statewide, high profile political debates.

May 1988: Traveled for two weeks to Islamabad and Peshawar Pakistan to research a possible documentary about a USAID grant that was setting up schools for the families of Mujahideen fighters inside Russian-occupied Afghanistan. The program was administered by the Center for Afghan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Shortly after the grant proposal for the documentary was submitted, the Russians withdrew their troops.

December 1980 - 1986: Several positions in the Public Affairs Unit of the Nebraska Public Television Network, including Unit Director, Associate Producer/Director, and Producer/ Reporter.

June 1980 - December 1980: Unit Director for the Nebraska Videodisc Design/Production Group.

February 1979 - April, 1980: Photographer and Project Director for "Dust Bowl Descent," a grant project administered by the Nebraska State Historical Society. Using photographs taken during the 1930's by the Farm Security Administration (FSA), I found many of the same people and same places 40 years later. My contemporary photographs and oral history interviews were compiled into 136-page, large-format book and a traveling exhibit (that has toured all over America since then, and has toured the Near East through the U.S. Information Agency).

April 1977 - May, 1978: Associate Producer for "Legacies of the Depression on the Great Plains," a three program television sequence produced by NETCHE.

1975 – 1977: Writer, graphic designer and photographer for NETCHE, the Nebraska Educational Television Consortium for Higher Education. As part of his duties, Mr. Ganzel designed print pieces and trade show exhibits.

Additional experience includes:

  • Thirty years of serious fine art photography with an international show record.
  • Four years as a writer and graphic designer with several national design awards.
  • Three years as a photographer and reporter for various newspapers.

Selected Publications, Presentations and Awards

June 10-13, 2011 – Invited to be a featured speaker for the 2011 Dutch Doc Days celebration of documentary photography at Utrecht, The Netherlands. Curator Frank van der Stok invited me to talk about my book, Dust Bowl Descent, as well as the ongoing work on Sixties Survivors. Frank is the author and editor of the book Questioning History: Imagining the Past in Contemporary Art published by NAi Publishers. Other speakers included Mark Klett, creator of The Rephotographic Survey and other books; Argentinean photographer Marcelo Brodsky; and German photographer Joachim Schmid. The Dutch Doc Days Web site is here.

Featured speaker at "Documentary Photography of the New Deal" conference at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, NY, March, 2005. The presentation included my then-and-now photographs of the subjects of FSA photographs from the Depression along with audio oral history interviews.

Work from Dust Bowl Descent was included in the book Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self, edited by Coco Fusco and Brian Wallis and organized by the International Center for Photography (ICP), published by Harry N. Abrams, New York City, 2003. The project included a major exhibition that toured nationally: beginning at ICP from December 2003 through February 2004, the Seattle Art Museum from March through June 2004, El Museo del Arte in Puerto Rico from December 2004 through February 2005, and the San Diego Museum of Art from October through December 2005. The project was a Millennium Project supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with major funding from Corbis, Altria Group, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Selected as one of 20 contract photographers in Nebraska for the America 24/7 book project, May 2003. My photographs were published in the national book, the statewide book for Nebraska and the "Dogs 24/7" book.

Smithsonian Magazine, feature article on my work entitled "Migrant Madonna," March, 2002, issue.

Selected as a presenter for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) "XStream Conference" September, 2001, in New Orleans. Presentation entitled "Educational Video on Demand – What do Teachers Want?"

Co-presenter at the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) conference, on Educational Video on Demand in Savannah, Georgia, January, 2001.

Selected as a presenter at the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Association conference in Omaha in 2001 and 2002. Also selected as presenter in the same years at the Midwest Internet Institute in Lincoln.

Invited to participate in "Terra Bendita – Fotografias da FSA e Afins" ("The Good Earth – FSA and FSA-Related Photographs") Exhibition and 142-page book organized by Jorge Calado in Lisbon, Portugal. The exhibition was shown at the Museu de Évora, March-April, 2000, and at the Photographic Archives of the City of Lisbon from May-June, 2000. The book was published by the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation in 2000.

Photograph included in "Docrom," a CD-ROM intended as an introduction to documentary photography for high school students. The project was funded by the European Commission's Culture 2000 program and produced by Tarina Cultural Productions, Finland. The CD presents documentary photography of various periods and from six different countries, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, France, United Kingdom and United States.

The American Century, by Harold Evans with Gail Buckland and Kevin Baker, published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1998. My photograph of Florence Thompson, Migrant Mother, was included in this 700-page compilation of photographs covering the 20th Century.

Panelist for discussion of "Visions of New Mexico: FSA Photographers" exhibition at the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, February 4, 1997.

"Photographing Social Change" by Jon Rieger, Professor of Sociology at the University of Louisville, published in Visual Sociology: Journal of International Visual Sociology Association, 1996. My photographs of Florence Thompson, Migrant Mother, and Fritz Fredrick were included in this article about using "re-photography" to study social change. Prof. Rieger wrote, "The two photographs [of each subject in Dust Bowl Descent] and the testimiony of those pictured in them, frame a drama not only of survival, but of strength and dogged persistence in the face of extreme adversity."

Workshop Leader at Joslyn Art Museum in connection with the exhibition of documentary photographs from Sebastiào Salgado, Workers, an Archaeology of the Industrial Age, November, 1996, Omaha.

"Picture Nebraska." I was one of eight Nebraska photographers chosen in this juried competition from which an hour-long documentary was produced by the Cultural Affairs Unit of Nebraska Public Television in 1990. The jurors included Samuel Samore, director of the Burden Gallery in New York City, Anthony Montoya curator at the Paul Strand Archive in Millerton, NY, and art director Henry Wolf.

Image and Word; The Interaction of Twentieth-Century Photographs and Texts, by Jefferson Hunter, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1987. My work and book, Dust Bowl Descent, was examined extensively in this 200 page book.

Dust Bowl Descent by Bill Ganzel, University of Nebraska Press, 136 pages, duotone, 1984. Photos from the FSA and my contemporary photographs are coupled with oral history interviews to give an idea of what life was like during the Depression and what has happened to these people since then. The book has been favorably reviewed by the New York Times, New Yorker, American Photographer, Christian Scientist Monitor, and other newspapers. It has won several awards for design. In 1985, I was invited to sign copies of the book at an event at the International Center for Photography in New York City.

Emerging Artist Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid-America Arts Alliance, 1983.

"Sandhills Album." This hour-long documentary, produced in 1980, looked at the history of some of the photographers who have documented Nebraska over the years. The program included Solomon D. Butcher who photographed the homesteaders of the 1880s, Arthur Rothstein who traveled through Nebraska for the FSA during the 1930s, and contemporary photographers Bill Ganzel, Margaret MacKichan, Bob Starck and Lynn Dance. The film was produced by Joel Geyer and won the best local cultural documentary award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Radical Rational/Space Time: Idea Networks in Photography, 72-page catalog for the international invitational exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, 1983.

"After the Last Harvest" (the television documentary which I produced) won a Gold Plaque in the documentary category at the Chicago International Film Festival, 1989.

"AIDS: Living Through the Epidemic" won a silver plaque from the Chicago International Film Festival and a outreach award from the Public Broadcasting Service for the accompanying publicity campaign.

"Hand Me Downs" received in 1983:

  • Silver Award from the International Film and Television Festival of New York
  • Silver Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival.

"Capitol View" received the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's local program awards, 1985 and 198l.

LIFE magazine, four pages of photographs and text from Dust Bowl Descent, August, 1979.

Selected Production Highlights

"Indian Country Diaries" I served as the researcher, writer and executive producer of a web site to accompany a two-program documentary that aired on PBS stations in November 2006. The web site can be found at I am also the producer and author of three DVDs of the programs with full menus and special features produced by the Ganzel Group. I am also the author and designer of a Viewer's Guide for the series. The television documentaries were produced by Native American Telecommunications and Adanvdo Vision with funding from CPB, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, ITVS and public television viewers.

"Wessels Living History Farm" Web site designed to provide learners an in-depth look at farming in the 1920s and beyond. The site can be found at I served as executive producer, writer, designer and editor of the site, particularly the 1930s and 1940s sections of it. The site is now attracting over 70,000 visitors a month from all over the world. It has almost 300 pages of information supported by streaming video of oral history interviews to make the history of agriculture come alive, even for urban audiences.

"Educator's Virtual Mentor" Web site designed to provide in-service training opportunities for teachers through streaming video clips of master teachers tied to the latest research into the brain and the learning process. The site can be found at The site utilizes an extensive database to allow teachers to select the grade level they want to see examples from and then the educational concepts they want to explore. A temporary user name and password is available on request to explore the functioning of the database. I served as executive producer and main designer of the site.

"Nebraska Studies" Web site designed to provide students and teachers access to a rich set of primary source documents, the context to make sense of the documents and learning resources for teachers using the site. The site can be found at I served as the executive producer of the site, content and text editor, and designer.

"A Matter of Conscience" Hour-long documentary concentrating on a group of conscientious objectors who served during World War II. The program examines their work fighting forest fires, volunteering to be starved to learn how to save starving people, and the ways in which COs opened up mental hospitals and exposed brutal conditions.

"Tough Choices" Hour-long documentary on the ethical choices facing parents and health professionals in Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

"After the Last Harvest" Documentary on the history of the farm crisis. Producer, writer and editor of the hour-long program. The program won a Gold Plaque in the Documentary category at the Chicago International Film Festival.

"AIDS: Living Through the Epidemic" A live, state-wide town hall meeting on the public policy choices facing Nebraska as it learns to cope with the AIDS epidemic. Executive producer and director for the program, which won a silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival.

"Centennial Summer" A look at some of the scores of community centennial celebrations held during the summer of 1988.

"Riders on the Storm" Documentary on the challenge of non-point source pollution, the cause of a majority of our remaining water quality problems in the U.S. Producer, director, writer and editor of the hour-long program which aired nationally on PBS stations through the Interregional Program Service.

Selected Exhibition List

"1979 A Monument to Radical Instants" group exhibition at the La Virreina, Center for the Image, in Barcelona, Spain, opening in March, 2011.

"Photography" group show at Modern Arts Midwest, Lincoln, NE, opening February 2011.

"Beyond the Edge: Photography Invitational" group show at Elder Gallery, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE, February - March 2009

"Full Circle / Urban Wilderness" exhibition of large scale digital archival panorama prints at the Burkholder Project, Lincoln, NE, March 2006. Each print includes a full 360° view of a scene, the full circle stretched out into a panorama print 16 x 57 inches.

"The Lincoln Show" three-person invitational exhibition at the Haydon Gallery, Nebraska Art Association, November 2005.

"Click" group invitational photography show at the Modern Arts Midwest gallery, Lincoln, NE, July 15 - August 31, 2005.

"Art and Artists of the Sandhills" group exhibition at the Center for Great Plains Studies Christlieb Gallery, Lincoln, NE, September – November, 2004.

"The Man Show" National Contemporary Photography Invitational, Haydon Gallery, Nebraska Art Association, Lincoln, NE, July – August, 2001.

"The American Dream" group exhibition at the Évora Museum in Oporto, Portugal, March through April 2000. The exhibit traveled to the Municipal Photographic Archive in Lisbon, Portugal, in May 2000. This was an exhibit of 80 vintage FSA photographs which ended with my portrait of Florence Thompson, Migrant Mother.

Included in "Recent Acquisitions from the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery" January - February 2000, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln. Several of my works were purchased for the permanent collection at Sheldon.

Two-person show at the Burkholder Project with Nancy Childs, October, 1999.

"Landscape Photographs," two-person show at the University Place Art Center, April 1999.

"Recent Landscapes" One-person show at the Burkholder Project, October 1998.

Two-person show at the Burkholder Project with Nancy Childs, October 1997.

"People and Places: Western Views from the Permanent Collection," Great Plains Art Collection, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, May 19 - August 22, 1997.

"Human Form: The Photographed Nude," Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery group show of works drawn from the permanent collection, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, September 10 - November 24, 1996. The show also toured throughout the state of Nebraska for the next couple of years.

"Bessey Hall 1% for the Arts Commission." Two of my large photographic murals and five 11x14-inch contact prints were chosen for this commission, May 1996.

"Moving through the Landscape: Plains and Mountains, Past and Present," Great Plains Art Collection group show of works from the permanent collection, May 16 - August 3, 1996, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"Recent Work" One-person show, at the Burkholder Project, Lincoln, NE, October 1995.

"Recent Work" One-person show, at the Burkholder Project, Lincoln, NE, September 1994.

One-person show at Hastings (NE) College, January 1994.

"Landscapes" One-person show, at the Burkholder Project, Lincoln, NE, October 1993.

"Recent Work" One-person show, Anderson O'Brien Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska, June 1993. I was the first photographer to show at the gallery.

"Homestead to Highrise: Photographs of Nebraska's Architecture, Past and Present" Invitational group show at the Great Plains Art Collection, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, March 7-May 7, 1993. The exhibit also traveled to the Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, June - July 1993.

"Big Land" One-person show, Atrium Gallery, Burkholder Project, Lincoln, NE, September 1992.

"Landscape as Subject: Contemporary Photography" National invitational exhibit at the Elder Gallery, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Sept. 20 - Oct. 20, 1992.

"Prairie Visions" Juried show at the Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, NE, October - November 1992.

"Dust Bowl Descent." The exhibit pairing photographs of the Depression with mine of the same people and same places has been touring since 1980. Initially, the tour was sponsored by the Mid-America Arts Alliance and the Nebraska State Historical Society. The U. S. Information Agency selected the exhibit to tour embassies and cultural centers throughout the Near East. Most recently, the exhibit toured under the auspices of the Nebraska and Texas Humanities Resource Centers.

"Picture Nebraska" Group show based on the juried competition. An exhibition of photographs from that documentary was up at Sheldon Art Gallery and then at the Lied Center as part of their "Arts as Basic" program, 1991.

"Images of Nebraska/A Celebration of the Visual Arts" Competitive exhibit sponsored by the Metropolitan Arts Council, Omaha, in cooperation with American Express. Juried by Graham Beal of Joslyn, Tom Majeski of UNO, John McKirahan of MONA, and Gloria Bartek of Metro Arts. The exhibit opened at First Data Resources in Omaha, toured to the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, Artspace in Omaha, and the State Capitol, 1991.

"2 x 20" Invitational group exhibit. Twenty photographers each photographed the same male and female models and then submitted two prints to the exhibit. It was shown at Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha and toured to other sites, 1984.

"Radical Rational/Space Time: Idea Networks in Photography" International invitational exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle. Curated by Paul Berger, the exhibit and book brought together the work of 12 photographers or projects that use doubles, sequences, or grids of photographs. The other photographers included the Rephotographic Survey, Frank Gohlke, Eve Sonneman, Esther Parada, Edweard Muybridge, Marion Faller & Hollis Frampton, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Gary Metz, William S. Paris, Robert Flick, and Joseph Deal. The exhibit hung from March through May, 1983, and a 72-page catalog was produced.

"Unrestricted Color" National juried exhibition of contemporary color photography, Handwerker Gallery, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, 1983.

Fachhochschule/Fachbereich-Design School in Bielefeld, West Germany, group exhibit, 1983.

"Midwest Photo '81" Regional juried exhibition, sponsored by the Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, Indiana. The show toured the Midwest between March and October 1981, and a catalog was produced.

"Contacts" National juried show sponsored by the Western Heritage Museum in Omaha, NE, 1980.

"The Great Plains Show" Juried exhibition sponsored by Associated Artists of Omaha, March 1979, juror award.

"Nudes by Bill Ganzel" One-person show, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE, January 1978.

"Images of Nebraska" Group show with three other Nebraska photographers, sponsored by the Nebraska State Historical Society. The show toured to 25 cities in the state between 1978 and 1980.