Anne Noggle

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Anne Noggle
Anne Noggle as photographed by Tom Graves[1]
Born 1922
Evanston, Illinois
Died (2005-08-16)August 16, 2005
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Nationality American
Education University of New Mexico
Known for Photography, Aviation

Anne Noggle (1922 – August 16, 2005) was an American aviator and photographer. She served as a military pilot during World War II and began a photography career in her forties.

Early years[edit]

Noggle was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1922, and died in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 16, 2005. She set a goal of becoming a pilot after seeing Amelia Earhart at an air show in Chicago. When she was 17, her mother, a bookstore manager, agreed to let her take flying lessons.

WASP of World War II[edit]

At 21, Noggle traveled to Sweetwater, Texas, to train to become one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). She graduated in the class of 44-W-1. She flew missions in 1943 and 1944. The WASP were disbanded in late 1944. After the war, she became a crop-duster in the Southwest and flew stunts in an aerial circus.

When the Air Force offered commissions to former WASPs after the war, she applied and was a pilot during the Korean War. She retired as a captain in 1959 when she developed emphysema.[2][3] She later described her aviation career this way: "I flew airplanes for a living for eleven years and 6,000 hours . . . When I was twenty-five I became a stunt pilot with an air show; when I was twenty-six I became a crop-duster pilot."[4]

While in the Air Force, Noggle had been stationed in Paris. She visited the Louvre, which ignited an artistic impulse.


Noggle went back to school, at the University of New Mexico; she earned a bachelor's degree in fine art in 1966 and in 1969 graduated with a master's degree in art. She developed her skills as a photographer and developed an interest in documenting the aging process of women – including her own “witty and challenging” self-portraits.[5]

The University of New Mexico gave her an honorary doctorate, acknowledging her “extensive contribution to the field of art and art history.”[5]

Photography career[edit]

Influenced by female photographers such as Julia Margaret Cameron and Diane Arbus, Noggle's work mainly focused on the aging process of women, a subject which she referred to as "the saga of the fallen flesh".[2] Using humor and pathos to depict the women she photographed, Noggle photographed her subjects in a way that displayed both femininity and sexual energy. Perhaps her most famous series of photographs was taken in 1975, when she photographed herself after receiving a facelift. Her ability to find beauty using bizarre subject matter typified her career as a photographer.[6]

Noggle was 48 when she had her first one-woman show, at a gallery in Taos, New Mexico, in 1970.[2]

Noggle was Curator of Photography at the New Mexico Museum of Art from 1970-76.[7]

Noggle taught as an adjunct professor of Art at the University of New Mexico from 1970 to 1984.

In 1982, Noggle was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellowship.[8]

National Endowment for the Arts Grants[edit]

  • 1975, Noggle received a photographer grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • 1978, she received another photographer grant from the NEA
  • 1981, Noggle received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct a New Mexico photographic survey.


The Harn Museum at the University of Florida presented an exhibition of Noggle's photographs from June 26, 2012 to March 10, 2013. Its title was Anne Noggle: Reality and the Blind Eye of Truth.[9] The New Mexico PBS series, ¡Colores!, featured Noggle in an episode filmed during her lifetime. In 2016 the New Mexico Museum of Art, her former employer, honored her with her a solo exhibition.[10]

Noggle's work is in the permanent collections of several art museums, including New Mexico Museum of Art,[11] Albuquerque Museum, California Museum of Photography, Denver Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.[citation needed]


In 1975 Noggle co-curated an exhibition and catalog for the San Francisco Museum of Art, Women of Photography: An Historical Survey. This exhibition was credited with introducing the work of American women photographers to a broader audience.[12]

Her 1983 book Silver Lining showcased Noggle’s photographs documenting the challenges she and other women in America faced as they grew older.[13]

She made portraits of her fellow WASPs as older women in the book For God, Country and the Thrill of It: Women Airforce Service Pilots in World War II (1990).

A Dance with Death, telling the story of the Soviet airwomen of World War II, was published in 1994. Noggle had traveled to the Soviet Union to photograph and record the stories of these women.[14]


Why she photographed older women:

  • “I like older faces, not because of aging itself, but rather the look of the face, the revelation of life, and the conflict between what was and what they are now. That interests me, not the idea of aging itself.”[15]
  • “I find young faces a tabula rasa, nothing is written there. They are empty until they reach their 40s. Then they become photographable.”[6]


  1. ^ Graves, Tom. "Anne Noggle". Heroes All. Tom Graves. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Anne Noggle, 83; Photographed Older Women", Los Angeles Times, retrieved Sep 4, 2005.
  3. ^ Anne Noggle Museum of Contemporary Photography.
  4. ^ Silver Lining, page 29.
  5. ^ a b Anne Noggle biography Wings Across America
  6. ^ a b Christopher Hartree. Anne Noggle: Pioneering woman photographer and pilot famed for her portraits of the ageing process The Guardian. 14 Sept 2005.
  7. ^ Ware, Katherine. "Anne Noggle". New Mexico Museum of Art. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Fellows: Anne Noggle at Guggenheim Memorial Foundation site
  9. ^ Harn Museum presents exhibition of photography by Anne Noggle Archived June 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., University of Florida, retrieved June 26, 2012
  10. ^ Jadrnak, Jackie (April 22, 2016). "Exhibit embodies the vitality of senior years". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "Anne Noggle". New Mexico Museum of Art. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  12. ^ Critical self portraiture: The photographs of Anne Noggle UCR/California Museum of Photography
  13. ^ Anne Noggle. 1983. Silver Lining: Photographs by Anne Noggle. University of New Mexico Press. (Text by Janice Zita Glover; Foreword by Van Deren Coke.)
  14. ^ Review of Silver Lining
  15. ^