Tee Corinne

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Tee Corinne
Tee Corinne.jpg
Tee A. Corrine
Linda Tee Cutchin

(1943-11-03)November 3, 1943
DiedAugust 27, 2006(2006-08-27) (aged 62)
  • Photographer
  • visual artist
  • writer
  • activist

Tee A. Corinne (November 3, 1943 – August 27, 2006) was a photographer, author, and editor notable for the portrayal of sexuality in her artwork. According to Completely Queer : The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia, "Corinne is one of the most visible and accessible lesbian artists in the world."[1]

Early life and education

Corinne was born and grew up in Florida. Her mother introduced her to principles and techniques for making visual art. According to Corinne, "I have seldom succeeded in keeping a diary, but I have almost always carried a drawing pad, and since my eighth year, I have also had a camera."

Corinne spent her first year of college (1962-3) studying art at Newcomb College in New Orleans, LA, where she studied painting with Ida Kohlmeyer.[2] She then transferred back to Florida, where she earned a B.A. in printmaking and painting (with minors in English and history) from University of South Florida, Corinne went on to get an M.F.A. in drawing and sculpture at Pratt Institute in 1968. After a few years of teaching and backpacking in Europe, she became attracted to the back-to-the-land movement and communal living. She was also, in her words, sliding into suicidal depression.

Something didn't feel right. Nowadays they talk about over-achieving adult children of alcoholics and the problems they have with depressions . . . Around the age of thirty I realized that art could no longer solve my problems . . . I found therapy, separated from my husband, became involved with women and joined the Women's Movement. I felt better.[3]


Corinne began exhibiting and publishing art and writing in the mid-1960s.

Her first notable work was in 1975, and is still in print today. Aged 27, she realised that although her art education had enabled her to depict male genitals, she had not observed her own since she was a child. "I knew that the things we don't have names for, or images of, are the ones we label crazy or bad. I believed that reclaiming labial imagery was a route to claiming personal power for women."[4] She decided to produce artistic images of vulvas, and self-published the Cunt Coloring Book, reclaiming the word "cunt"; it was later issued by a publisher as Labiaflowers.[5]

She was a co-facilitator of the Feminist Photography Ovulars (1979–1981) (cf seminar) and a co-founder of The Blatant Image, A Magazine of Feminist Photography (1981–1983). She was the author of one novel, three collections of short stories, four books of poetry and numerous artists books and small edition publications.

Family, her show of mixed media drawings about growing up in an alcoholic family, has been the subject of a video interview by Jane Scott Productions. Portfolios of her art have been published in Lesbian Subjects, Feminist Studies, Gallerie: Women's Art, The Advocate, Philadelphia Gay News, The Lesbian Inciter, I Am My Lover (first edition, 1979) and Femalia.

In 1980, she was one of the ten invited artists whose work was exhibited in the Great American Lesbian Art Show.

In the early 1980s, Tee Corinne developed strong personal and artistic connections to Oregon after she moved to southern Oregon and lived and became active in the many women's communities springing up in the area. As she notes in one of her manuscripts, "Slowly, in Oregon, I reconnected with the deep levels of creativity that run in me and began producing work which pleased me."

She became adept at representing lesbian sexuality in ways that would elude the male gaze. In 1982, she produced a series of photographs called Yantras of Womanlove. Concerned with protecting the privacy of her models, she used techniques involving multiple prints, solarization, images printed in negative, and multiple exposures. Tee consistently and conscientiously included women of color, large women, older women, and women with disabilities as her subjects. Sometimes printers would refuse to print her works and art galleries would refuse to show it.

Corinne wrote about art for a variety of publications and, from 1987, was the art books columnist for Feminist Bookstore News. A co-founder and past co-chair of the Gay & Lesbian Caucus (an affiliated society of the College Art Association), she also co-founded the Women's Caucus for Art Lesbian & Bisexual Caucus. In 1989, Corrine received a Lambda Literary Award in the lesbian anthology category for her editing of Intricate Passions (published by Banned Books).[6] In 1991, she was chosen by Lambda Book Report as one of the fifty most influential lesbians and gay men of the decade, and in 1997 she received the Women's Caucus for Art President's Award for service to women in the arts.[1]

Perhaps her best known work is the cover of the 1993 self-titled debut album of the English alternative rock band Suede. In 1998, her photographs appeared on the cover and sleeve of the timmi-kat ReCoRDS' release, "Milkshake: A CD to Benefit The Harvey Milk Institute".[7]

Personal life

In 1966, Corinne married the man she described as her 'best friend'.[8] She came out in 1975[9] at which time she was in a relationship with Honey Lee Cottrell. Over the years, Corrine embarked upon relationships with Caroline Overman (early 1980s), Lee Lynch (mid 1980s) and Beverly Anne Brown (1989–2005).[9] In 2003, Brown was diagnosed with cancer, which led to Corinne's series "Cancer in our Lives" (2003-5).[10]

Death and legacy

Corinne died on the 27th August 2006[11] in Southern Oregon after a struggle with liver cancer. She was 62 years old. Her manuscript collection was donated to the University of Oregon Libraries, and is now housed in the library's Special Collections unit. The collection includes correspondence, literary manuscripts, artwork, photographs, artifacts, and other documents that reflect Corinne's life and work.[12][13]

Moonforce Media created the Tee A. Corinne Prize for Lesbian Media Artists in 2006 to annually honor Corinne as an artist with bold vision and a fierce dedication to encouraging and preserving lesbian art. The award is an unrestricted grant of up to $1,000 annually. The prize is dedicated to artists working in photography, film, video, digital media, new media, or any fusions of these forms and in any genre including documentary, narrative, experimental, or any other styles or combination of genres. The award furthers Corinne's wish that individual lesbian artists be financially supported to work independently and without censorship.[14]

In 2014, Corinne was included prominently in a 45-year retrospective on LGBT photography on the website of news station KQED.[15]

In 2015 the Golden Crown Literary Society awarded the first Tee Corinne Outstanding Cover Design award to Ann McMan for her work on the book Everything.[16]

In 2016, Lesbian News published a laudatory editorial retrospective on Corinne's life.[17]



  • "Bodies: A Collage", in woman in power (Issue 18, 70-72)
  • Courting Pleasure. (Austin, TX: Banned Books, 1994.)
  • The Cunt Coloring Book. San Francisco: Pearlchild, 1975; San Francisco: Last Gasp, 1988. Also published as Labiaflowers. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press, 1981.
  • Drawing as a Problem-Solving Activity (2002)
  • Dreams of the Woman Who Loved Sex (Austin, TX: Banned Books, 1987)
  • Family: About Growing Up In An Alcoholic Family. North Vancouver, BC: Gallerie, 1990.
  • Lesbian Muse: The Women Behind the Words. Portland, OR: Chance Publications, 1989.
  • The Little Houses on Women's Land (2002)
  • Lovers: Love and Sex Stories (Austin, TX: Banned Books, 1989)
  • The Sex Lives of Daffodils: Growing Up As An Artist Who Also Writes. Wolf Creek, OR: Pearlchild 1994, 1997.
  • The Sparkling Lavender Dust of Lust, A Novel (Austin, TX: Banned Books, 1991)
  • Twenty-Two Years, 1970-1992. Wolf Creek, OR: Pearlchild, 1992.
  • Wild Lesbian Roses: Essays on Art, Rural Living, and Creativity, 1986-1995, Wolf Creek, OR, Pearlchild, 1997.
  • Women Who Loved Women. (Philadelphia, PA: Giovanni's Room, 1984)
  • Yantras of Womanlove. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press, 1982.


  • At Six (1990)[18]
  • Joy Unfolds (1984)[18]
  • Visiting the Yarrow (1993) [18]


  • The Body of Love. (Austin, TX: Banned Books, 1993)
  • Intricate Passions: A Collection of Erotic Short Fiction. (Austin, Texas: Banned Books, 1989)
  • Lesbian Muse: The Women Behind the Words [Datebook] . (Austin, TX: Banned Books, 1990)
  • Lesbian Photography on the U.S. West Coast 1972-1997 (1998)
  • The Poetry of Sex: Lesbians Write the Erotic. (Austin, TX: Banned Books, 1992)
  • Riding Desire: An Anthology of Erotic Writing. (Austin, TX: Banned Books, 1991)


  1. ^ a b "Tee Corinne - Biography". Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  2. ^ Biographical Reference File, Tee A. Corinne, Newcomb Archives, Tulane University
  3. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  4. ^ Corinne, Tee (1993). "Artist's statement: On Sexual Art". Feminist Studies. 19 (2): 369–376. doi:10.2307/3178374. JSTOR 3178374.
  5. ^ Wilton, Tamsin. "Tee Corinne" (PDF). GLBT Encyclopedia Archive. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  6. ^ "2nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards". 30 July 1990. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Various - Milkshake: A CD To Benefit The Harvey Milk Institute (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  8. ^ "Tee A. Corinne's Personal Statement". Varo Registry. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  9. ^ a b Corinne, Tee A. "Scars, Stoma, Ostomy Bag, Portacath: Picturing Cancer In Our Lives". glbtq. Archived from the original on 2012-09-29. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  10. ^ "Tee Corinne". 2005-01-25. Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  11. ^ Silverberg, Cory (December 27, 2006). "Sexual Losses 2006". Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  12. ^ "Knight Library Hosts Exhibit on Artist and Writer Tee Corinne". University of Oregon Libraries. October 8, 2008. Archived from the original on 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  13. ^ "Tee A. Corinne papers, 1996-2003". Archived from the original on 2017-07-28. Retrieved 2017-07-28. Her 2002 book, Intimacies, Photos by Tee A. Corinne, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. She won the Women's Caucus for Art President's Award 1997 and the Abdill-Ellis Lambda Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia, called Tee A. Corinne "one of the most visible and accessible lesbian artists in the world."
  14. ^ Belge, Kathy (2006-08-27). "Tee Corinne Lesbian Artist (1943-2006)". Archived from the original on 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  15. ^ Katz, Jonathan D. (2014-06-18). "Through queer eyes: 45 years of (mostly west-coast) LGBT photography". KQED Arts. Archived from the original on 2017-07-28. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  16. ^ Editors (2015-07-28). "Historic Night at Golden Crown Literary Awards". Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  17. ^ "The feminist-lesbian artist named Tee Corinne". Lesbian News. 2016-02-05. Archived from the original on 2017-07-28. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  18. ^ a b c "Corinne, Tee A. 2007-25". Retrieved 2015-08-06.

Additional sources

  • Meskimon, Marsha. The Art of Reflection: Women Artists' Self-Portraiture in the Twentieth Century. London: Scarlet Press, 1996.
  • Grover, Jan Zita. Dykes in Context: Some Problems in Minority Representation in The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography, edited by Richard Bolton. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1989.
  • Kelley, Caffyn, editor. Forbidden Subjects: Self-Portraits by Lesbian Artists. North Vancouver, B.C.: Gallerie, 1992.
  • Blake, Nayland, Lawrence Rinder and Amy Scholder, editors. In A Different Light: Visual Culture, Sexual Identity, Queer Practice. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1995.
  • Boffin, Tessa and Jean Fraser, editors. Stolen Glances: Lesbians Take Photographs. London: Pandora, 1991; San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991.
  • Bright, Susie and Jill Posener, editors. Nothing But The Girl: The Blatant Lesbian Image, A Portfolio and Exploration of Lesbian Erotic Photography. London and New York: Cassell, 1996.
  • Uncommon Heroes. Fletcher Press, c1994
  • Queer "Obscurely Famous," an interview with Tee Corinne. September 1998. (August 27, 2003).

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