top of page

Arno Rafael Minkkinen

Finnish, born 1945


Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish American photographer noted for his unmanipulated nude self-portraits in the landscape. Born in Helsinki in 1945, he moved with his family to America in 1951. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, he later attended Wagner College on Staten Island, majoring in English. After five years in the advertising business as a Madison Avenue copywriter, he discovered photography working on the Minolta camera account. “What happens inside your mind can happen inside a camera,” was the turning-point headline he wrote in 1970. A year later, studying with John Benson at the Apeiron Workshops in Millerton, New York, he began his self-portrait work.

He received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, studying with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. Currently he is Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is also docent and visiting professor at the University of Art & Design Helsinki and École d’Art Appliqués in Vevey, Switzerland.


Selected Exhibitions

1998 High Noon: Self-portraits in the American West. Barry Friedman Ltd., NewYork, NY.

Body Land. Galerie Clairefontaine, Luxembourg.

Selections from Waterline. Galleria Minima Peliti Associati, Rome, Italy.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen. Gallen-Kallela Museo, Espoo, Finland.

Ten Minutes Past Midnight. Moise de Photo, Paris. La Galerie La

Ferronnerie, Paris, France.

1997 Basel Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland.

Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France.

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.

1996 Sundsvall Museet, Sundsvall, Sweden.

Museet for Fotokunst, Brandts Klædefabrik, Odense, DK.

Castle Fortezza, Montalcino, Italy.

Galerie Photo & Co., Turin, Italy.

Galerie Municipale du Chateau D'eau, Toulouse, France.

Il Diaframma, Milan, Italy.

Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium.

Galerie Nathalie C. Emprin, Paris, France.

1995 Houk Friedman Gallery, New York, NY.

Fonds Régional D'art Contemporain, Caen, France.

L'artothéque de Caen, Caen, France.

The Braggiotti Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland.

Fotogalleriet, Oslo, Norway.

Museum of Art, Turku, Finland.

Laterna Magica, Helsinki, Finland.

1994 Musée de L'élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Galerie Imagerie, Centre Jean Savidan, Lannion, France

25th Rencontres D'Arles, Arles, France.

Akehurst Gallery, London.

1993 L'Acguario Romano, Rome, Italy.

1992 Galerie Suzel Berna, Paris.

Prague House Of Photography, The Czech Republic.

Images Center of Photography, Cincinnati, Ohio.

1991 Musée d’Art Moderne, Nice, France.

Galerie Suzel Berna, Antibes, France.

Centre d'Art Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain.

1990 Peri Center of Photography, Turku, Finland.

1989 Bannister Gallery, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI.

Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles, France.

Galerie Suzel Berna, Antibes, France.

Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan.

1988 Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France.

Galerie Viviane Esders, Paris, France.

Galerie Vrais Reves, Lyon, France.

1987 Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain.

Hippolyte Galleria, Helsinki, Finland.

1986 Victor Barsokevitch Museum, Kuopio, Finland.

Galerie Viviane Esders, Paris.

Pori Art Museum.

1984 Maison de la Culture, Reims, France.

Selections 2. Photokina.

The Photographic Museum of Finland.

Palais des Congres, Le Mans, France.

Images/Imaginees. Museum Rimbaud, Charleville, France.

1983 Rantagalleria, Oulu, Finland.

Le Fantastique. Rencontres d'Arles.

Father & Son. Robert Klein Gallery, Boston.

Galerie Viviane Esders, Paris.

1982 Photography as Phantasy. Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Yuen Lui Gallery, Seattle, Washington.

1980 Into the Eighties. Keene State College.

1979 Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover.

Yuen Lui Gallery, Seattle, Washington.

Canon Photo Gallery, Amsterdam.

1978 Halstead Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.

The Male Nude. Marcuse Pfeifer Gallery, New York.

Fotografiska Museet at Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

1976 Fotografiska Museet at Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

1974 Thesis Show. Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.

The Photographic Museum of Finland.

1973 Gallery for Creative Photography, Copenhagen.

1972 Spectrum Gallery, Tucson, Arizona.

Soho Photo Gallery, New York.


Selected Awards

1996 SCRITTURE D'ACQUA: First International Water Prize in Science, Literature, and Art. Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy.

1992 Knighted by Finnish Republic on the Sesquecentennial of Finnish Photography.

1991 New England Foundation for the Arts Fellowship/ National Endowment for the Arts Regional Grant.


Selected Collections
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover MA 
Art Jonction, Nice, Fance 
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France 
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona 
City of Grenoble, France 
City of Nantes, France 
French National Collection (FNAC) Champagne-Ardenne 
French National Collection (FNAC) Paris 
Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Arles, France 
Fotografiska Museet at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden 
The Hallmark Collection 
The High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia 
Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland 
Maison de la Culture, Reims, France 
Musée de l'Art Moderne, Paris, France 
Museum of Contemporary Art, Ateneum, Helsinki 
Museum of Fine Arts Boston 
Palais des Congres, Le Mans, France 
Paris Audiovisuel, Paris, France 
Polaroid International Collection, Cambridge MA 
Porin Taidemuseo, Pori, Finland 
Princeton University, Minor White Archives, Princeton NJ 
Rhode Island College 
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI 
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara CA 
Suomen Valokuvataiteenmuseo, Helsinki, Finland 
University of Ohio, Athens, Ohio 
Viktor Barsokevitch Seura, Kuopio, Finland 
Waino Aaltosen Museo, Turku, Finland


Selected Publications:

2005 Saga: A Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, 1971-2004. Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Monograph

1998 Ten Minutes Past Midnight, Musta Taide, Helsinki. Monograph.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen Tarvas, Musta Taide, Helsinki. Monograph.

1997 Body Land: Arno Rafael Minkkinen. Federico Motta, Milan. Monograph.

1995 European Photography no. 58.

LIFE Magazine.

1994 Waterline. Editions Marval, Paris Aperture, New York

Otava, Helsinki. Monograph.

The Body: Photographs of the Human Form. Ewing, William.

Thames & Hudson, London.

1993 Arno Rafael Minkkinen. Galeri du Château d'Eau, Toulouse.

1991 Crépuscule des Masques, Michel Tounier, Editions Jean Pierre de Monza.

Camera International (No. 30). Finnish Photography issue.

The Primordial Image. Centre d'Art Danta Monica, Barcelona.

1987 Das Vorborgene Bild, Weiermair, Peter. Ariadne, Wien.

L'Imagerie de Michel Tournier. Michel Tournier, Musée D'Art

Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris.

1985 Pori/Paris, Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland. Text by Robert Pujade.

1984 Images /Imaginees John Batho; Lekehal, Nadhira., Contrejour, Paris.

1982 Contemporary Photographers, St. James Press, London.

1981 New American Nudes, Arno Minkkinen, Ed. Morgan & Morgan,

Dobbs Ferry, NY.

1978 Frostbite, Morgan & Morgan, Dobbs Ferry, NY. Monograph.

bottom of page