all content © Albert J. Winn 2013


Albert J. Winn’s work is primarily autobiographic and addresses issues of religion, gender and sexuality and how each informs the other in the context of illness, personal relationships and memory.

He received a National Endowment for the Arts / Western States Arts Federation Fellowship in 1993 for a collection of photographs and stories called “My Life Until Now”, which dealt with his life as a gay Jewish man living with AIDS. He received a fellowship from the Memorial Foundation of Jewish Culture in 2000, was an artist-in-residence at Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain, NY and an Artist-in-Residence at Light Work, in Syracuse, New York.

He was the guest artist and keynote speaker at "Drawing the Line Against AIDS" at the University of Adelaide, Australia (2010).

He was the creator of “Blood on the Doorpost…the AIDS Mezuzah” which was installed at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, in 1996, for World AIDS Day. His work is in the permanent collections of The Library of Congress, The Jewish Museum (NYC), the Portland Art Museum (Oregon), the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), the International Center of Photography, Light Work (Syracuse University), the One Archive (L.A.), and the Visual AIDS Archive (NYC).

Selected one person shows include Blue Sky Gallery (Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, May 2014), Open Lens Gallery at the Gershman YM/YWHA (Philadelphia), The Jewish Museum, Metro Center for the Arts (Denver), Film in the Cities (Minneapolis), ARC Gallery (Chicago) and the Photographic Resource Center (Boston).

Selected group shows include Art AIDS America (2015-2016, One Gallery, West Hollywood, CA; Tacoma Art Museum, WA; Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA; Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY), Re/Presenting HIV/AIDS (from the Band-AIDS series, Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College, 2014), "Camp: Visiting Day" at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, “Only Skin Deep,” at The International Center of Photography, “Made in California: 1900-2000” (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), “Ritual & Religion,” The Robert B. Menschel Gallery (Syracuse University), “Portraits & Identity,” The Skirball Museum (Los Angeles), “Intersecting Identities,” SUNY Stony Brook, “Portraits on Paper,” & “The Changing Face of Family,” The Jewish Museum (NY), “The Perpetual Well,” The Parrish Museum of Art (Southampton, NY), The Harn Museum of Art (Gainesville, FL), Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, (WVA) & Sheldon Memorial Gallery, Lincoln, (NB), “The Cocktail Hour” & “The Family Seen,” SF Camerawork (San Francisco), “Bodies of Resistance,” NSA Gallery (Durban, South Africa) & Real Arts Ways, (Hartford, CT), “desire,” The National Arts Club (New York) & The Robert B. Menschel Gallery, (Syracuse University), “Dancing with the Leviathan,” Lonsdale Gallery (Toronto, Canada), “Creating in Crises,” SPACES (Cleveland, OH), “TranscEnd AIDS,” Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, and Titan Gallery in Tel Aviv.

Selected publications include Blue Sky Books: My Life Until Now by Albert J. Winn (2015), “Don’t Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of AIDS,” National Gallery, Australia, "Portfolio Showcase: Volume 5," The Center for Fine Art Photography, Zyzzyva, The Jewish Quarterly Review, Healing and the Jewish Imagination, “A Face in the Crowd: Celebrating Gay Life in America,” The Matthew Shepherd Foundation, “Pandemic: Facing AIDS,” Umbrage Editions, Contact Sheet #103 & 107, “Pakn Trager,” The National Yiddish Book Center, “Bodies of Resistance,” VisualAIDS, POZ Magazine, Corpus Magazine, Art and Understanding, and on He has read his stories on National Public Radio and on Pubic Broadcasting System.

He received his MFA in Photography from California Institute of the Arts, an MA from the University of Florida, and a BS from Pennsylvania State University. He lived in Los Angeles with his husband Scott Portnoff, and was a part-time faculty member at Cal Arts and Moorpark College. He was the madrich at WUJS, Arad, Israel and worked for several years in the banana fields of Kibbutz Ma’anit and the date orchards of Kibbutz Grofit, Israel.

Al died May 20, 2014 at age 66 from complications of neuroendocrine carcinoma. He is buried at Ohev Shalom Cemetery in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania.

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