Professor of Photography Linn Underhill

Quincey Spagnoletti

Associate Professor of Art and Art History Linn Underhill received her MFA from Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, N.Y. in 1982. She has been working at Colgate for the past 19 years and has enjoyed being around her students.

“I love watching how scared they are in the beginning and how confident they are at the end,” she said.

When asked what else she likes about Colgate, she mentioned her colleagues.

“I love working with these people, they are really great,” she said.

You have probably seen her around campus with her camera taking candids of anyone and anything that intrigues her. This is because Underhill is currently working on a photo-diary piece about everyday things.

“I like the everyday things, they keep the earth below my feet, and that’s me,” Underhill said of this work-in-progress.

Underhill is inspired by artists from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and found pinpointing one favorite artist to be very difficult.

“That is very, very hard to answer. I don’t have a favorite or five favorites. I have a lot of favorite artists,” she said.

Underhill especially enjoys the work of 19th century French photographer Nadar, who is known for his portraiture as well as Dorothea Lange from the 20th century, whom Underhill studied with in the beginning of her career. Underhill mentioned Cindy Sherman, Robert Frank and a handful of other photographers as well.

When asked what she thinks the most important thing to learn while trying to become an artist she, her reply was simple: “patience.”

Continuing with further advice. Underhill added encouragement for those who plan to enter the art world.  

“Finding out what you want to do and doing that. Just stick with it. Everyone has to struggle, people who stick with it are the ones who succeed. It’s more important than talent, just stick with it,” Underhill said.

Contact Quincey Spagnoletti at

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