George Tice was born in Newark, NJ in 1938, which was the state where his ancestors had lived for generations. He joined a camera club when he was fourteen, and is largely a self-taught photographer. When a pro photographer commended his picture of an alleyway during a critique of club members’ work, Tice was off and running with what would become his life’s work. Tice studied commercial photography for a short time at Newark Vocational and Technical High School then decided to join the Navy, after which he worked as a traveling portrait photographer for almost 10 years.
In 1959, Edward Steichen, then the director of photography at MOMA acquired Tice’s photo of an explosion aboard the USS Wasp for the museum. Later, he aided Lee Witkin in establishing the seminal Witkin Gallery in NYC and his work was included in the opening group show in 1969, being the first of many solo shows there. George’s change to larger format cameras in the 60’s furthered his ability to craft carefully toned and detailed prints, portraying traditional Amish and Shaker communities, as well as the hard lives of fishermen in Maine.In the 1970s,Tice began to explore his native NJ and began to document the vestiges of American culture on the verge of extinction, which is the work he is best known for. Whether it is the rural people who reside in small communities or suburban buildings and neighborhoods in decline,his great talent is finding deep meaning and emotional content in the most mundane subjects.
In 1972, Tice was the subject of a one-man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, George Tice’s work is included in more than 80 major museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, countless private collections as well as some of his iconic New Jersey images forming the scenic backdrop for Broadway’s “Jersey Boys”. Tice has long been a sought after teacher of photography and a master photographic printer who was commissioned to print the Edward Steichen portfolio. Throughout his career he has been able to publish more than 17 photography books, including Fields of Peace: A Pennsylvania German Album, Paterson, New Jersey, Seacoast Maine: People and Places and Urban Landscapes: A New Jersey Portrait.