Starr Ockenga is a writer, photographer, and lecturer. Her photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries and are included in both public and private collections. Her images and writings have appeared in numerous publications including Life, Esquire, Camera, and Horticulture. She is the author of several books including 'Earth on Her Hands: The American Woman in Her Garden,' 'Eden on Their Minds: American Gardeners with Bold Visions,' and 'Amaryllis.' 'Earth on Her Hands' received the American Horticultural Society's Annual Book Award in 1999. Ockenga received her Master's degree in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. She is a former associate professor of photography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her studio is located in New York City.
The Starr Ockenga Collection includes photographic images, notes, correspondence, questionnaires, garden plans, planting lists, releases and drafts generated or compiled by Ockenga for the writing and illlustrating of her books, 'Earth on Her Hands: The American Woman in Her Garden' and 'Eden on Their Minds: American Gardeners with Bold Visions.' Both books consist of several individual chapters, each describing a garden owner and their garden and featuring a portrait of the garden owner in their garden. The nearly 40 gardens documented in the collection are located across the United States. In addition to the hundreds of images published in 'Eden' and 'Earth,' the Ockenga Collection includes thousands of additional images that, together with the research notes and garden descriptions in the books, provide a rich source of documentation. A number of the images show panoramic garden views.
'Earth on Her Hands: The American Woman in Her Garden' by Starr Ockenga. / New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1998
'Eden on Their Minds: American Gardeners with Bold Visions' by Starr Ockenga. / New York: Clarkson Potter, 2001
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Starr Ockenga Collection