Research Areas

Fine Art and Documentary Photography 


M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design 

B.A., American University 


Vaughn Sills

Vaughn Sills

Vaughn Sills

My deep interest, visible in all of my work, involves how we are influenced by and how we influence the land, how cultures evolve in relation to (and affect) their geography, just as we, as individuals, evolve, becoming who we are because of our families, and our psychological and sociological circumstances.

I live and work in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Prince Edward Island, Canada. My work has been has been exhibited widely, showing in museums and galleries, as well as the galleries of botanic gardens; and it is in the collections of the DeCordova Museum, Harvard art Museum, the Eaton Vance Collection, among others. I have received several significant awards -- twice I received the Artist’s Fellowship in Photography by the Massachusetts Cultural Council; other grants and awards have come from the Artadia Dialogue for Art and Culture, the Polaroid Foundation, and The New England Foundation for the Arts. My photographs and books, Places for the Spirit, Traditional African American Gardens (2010) and One Family (2001) earned awards from the Garden Writers Association and the Magazine Association for the Southeast.
I am Associate Professor Emerita of Photography at Simmons College.

Current Projects

“True Poems Flee” is a series of landscape photographs of Prince Edward Island. It is about how memories and feelings are evoked by place, the relationship between culture and the natural world, and how we make meaning of our life through the experience of place. For me, it is an ode to the richness and vibrancy of my mother’s life. 

Representative Publications

“One Family,” University of Georgia Press, 2001 

“Places for the Spirit, Traditional African American Gardens,” Trinity University Press, 2010