George Edward DeWolfe, 78, died at home in hospice care in Southwest Harbor on July 2, 2023, after a long illness. He was born on June 23, 1945, in Garden City, NY, the son of Phillip W. and Anne (Wood) DeWolfe.
During middle school in North Carolina, George developed three interests which continued in various forms throughout his life: printing, model building, and music. He ran a small letterpress, which led to an interest in typography and graphic design that later resurfaced in his photographic printing. His model-building became a serious hobby in his 30s, when he made dioramas, historically precise models, and life-like miniature busts for which he gained national recognition. He resumed making and painting models during his retirement. George also learned to play the guitar as a preteen, beginning a long interest in popular, folk, country, and bluegrass music. He was a skillful banjo player and played in bands in graduate school and later when he moved to Maine. He continued to sing and play guitar as well, and he celebrated his recent birthday singing old songs with family.
After graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1967, George served as a medical corpsman in the U.S. Navy stationed at the Balboa Naval Hospital, San Diego, during the Vietnam war. He then earned a Master of Fine Arts in photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Reading Thoreau and Loren Eiseley and studying with Ansel Adams and Minor White were major influences on the direction his art and life would take. Later he worked as a commercial photographer and taught at the New England School of Photography, University of Idaho, and Colorado Mountain College before becoming a sought-after workshop teacher.
As a young man, George loved climbing mountains – the Alps, the Tetons, the Appalachians, and others. While studying at RIT, George spent several summers working for the Appalachian Mountain Club in New Hampshire in various capacities. He was the first Artist-in-Residence at the AMC, building a photo archive for the club. His work was also featured (with others) in At Home in the Wild: New Hampshire’s White Mountains, a Friends of the Earth large format photography book.
George came to MDI in 1995 to create an archive of landscape photographs for Friends of Acadia, loved the place, and never left. He was an early adopter of digital photographic methods and was involved in the development of Adobe Lightroom software, as well as special inks and papers for digital photographic printing. He authored two popular books on the technical aspects of digital printing. George had a national reputation as a printer and as a teacher, and he especially enjoyed teaching workshops at the Santa Fe Workshops for many years. His lively sense of humor found a welcome reception among students and friends.
George and his partner, Lydia Goetze, developed an approach they called Contemplative Landscape Photography which he and they taught at a variety of locations including China and the American West. His workshop students respected both his artistic vision and his technical expertise. As a result of his contemplative work, one of his students inducted him into the White Plum lineage of Japanese Zen as a sensei (teacher).
George is survived by his life partner, Lydia Butler Goetze; his son, Lucien DeWolfe of Palm Bay, FL; his grandson Mason DeWolfe of Greensburg, PA; extended family Erica Goetze (Greg Dziadurski) and Elizabeth G. Record (Mike) and five grandchildren; his sister Barbara DeWolfe of Arlington, MA; and his former wife Berni DeWolfe of FL.
There will be no service at George’s request. Gifts in George’s memory may be made to the Westside Food Pantry, PO Box 767, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679. Condolences may be expressed at www.acadiacremation.com