Elyn Zimmerman has widely exhibited her work in drawing and photography since earning her MFA at UCLA in 1972, where she studied with Robert Heineken and Richard Diebenkorn. She also worked as the darkroom technician and assistant photographer at the Charles and Ray Eames Studio in Venice, CA from 1970-72.
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In the 1970’s Zimmerman created a number of temporary, site-specific installations for museum and gallery exhibitions, including, but not limited to: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Hudson River Museum, NY; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC.
In 1977, inspired by her trip to archaeological sites in India, she returned to the US begin working on outdoor projects in stone. She was invited to do temporary projects at Artpark, Lewiston, NY; 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid, NY; Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, TX; among others.
Zimmerman’s permanent projects are best know for their use of stone, often complemented by water in the form of reflecting pools or fountains alongside landscape elements. Included among these large scale public commissions is a fountain to memorialize the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York City, the design of the Sculpture Garden at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama, a fountain and seating area for AT&T headquarters in New Jersey, and the plaza design, including large pool and granite sculpture, at the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, DC.
Zimmerman’s most recent work, a commissioned project for the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art, is a 70’ long by 6’ wide bridge constructed of large glass panels, imbedded with imagery related to the site, and supported by a steel undercarriage. Completed in 2019, Mississippi Meanders is Zimmerman’s first project utilizing architectural glass.
Her many awards include three Artist Fellowship Awards from the National Endowment for the Arts; CAPS Artist Fellowship, NY; Japan-US Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship; New Talent Award, LACMA; Resident, American Academy in Rome, 2010; Isamu Noguchi Award, 2016.
Zimmerman taught university level art classes from 1974 to 1986 in California and New York. She has also been a visiting professor at architecture and landscape architecture graduate schools, including, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA; the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.