A Newsletter of the White River Valley Museum

July 2002

George L. Kinkade

by Dr. Tina Brewster Wray, Curator of Collections


We sometimes called George Kinkade 
"The Old Man of the Mountain"
because of his lifelong love affair 
with the glaciers, the flower meadows 
and the forested wilderness of Mt. Rainier ... the inspiration for his photography.

NW International Exhibition of Photography Bulletin, 1975

George Kinkade was a life-long resident of Auburn. In 1925, just out of high school, he went to work for the Auburn Globe-Republican as a printer's apprentice, and during his 45-year career worked for Auburn, Kent and Puyallup newspapers. Mr. Kinkade was a master typographer, and was widely respected for his meticulous craftsmanship and artistic feel for design. These skills were also expressed in his other passion - photography.

George Kinkade, tricky self-portrait, c. 1970
George Kinkade, tricky self-portrait, c. 1970

An outstanding northwest photographer, Mr. Kinkade produced magnificent photographs of mountain and forest scenes that gained him an international reputation in the 1940s and 1950s, and won him a fellowship in the Photographic Society of America. He also helped create the Northwest International Exhibition of Photography at the Puyallup Fair, and as Superintendent from 1956-1975, he introduced innovations in judging and exhibition that were adopted world-wide.

"Throne of Rock"
"Throne of Rock."
Winthrop Glacier from Burroughs Mountain, Mt. Rainier, c. 1945

George Kinkade's artistic and photographic skills are well represented in the over 500 photographs recently donated to the WRVM by his daughter-in-law, Georgia Kinkade. These photographs, taken from the 1940s to 1960s, focus primarily on the natural beauty of the mountains, forests and glaciers of the Cascades and Olympics. Most are large exhibition-quality prints that Mr. Kinkade had entered into state as well as national photography exhibitions. The Museum is very privileged to have received and been able to preserve this large and significant collection of this local photographer's work.

Lenore Kinkade in ice cave, 1950s.
Lenore Kinkade in ice cave, 1950s.

We are currently just beginning to organize and gather information about the location and dates of these wonderful images. If you know anyone who is familiar with the glaciers or vistas of Mt. Rainier, Adams, Baker or Olympus, or who might have accompanied Mr. Kinkade on his photographic expeditions, please contact Tina (253-939-2783).

Dr. Tina Brewster Wray