Rita Crane-Biography

Seeing through the eye of a camera was my main passion in high school, not surprisingly, since my father Ralph Crane was a notable Life Magazine photographer for over thirty years. Those teen years behind a single lens reflex and the hours spent in the darkroom experimenting with wet printing techniques for black & white photography taught me skills that now translate naturally into modern photography’s digital technology.   

I spent much of my childhood overseas and after graduating from UCLA in History and Art History and traveled extensively. I spent time in France, Switzerland, Germany, Tahiti, and places across the United States, catching my father’s travel fever and wanting to see the world.

My art education, aside from university studies, has included years of drawing, designing, and hands on art projects. Under the guidance of Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, I made stained glass windows for the entrance pagodas to the beautiful temple at Odiyan, a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center in the coastal hills of Sonoma County, California. A Pueblo Indian jeweler taught me lapidary and silversmithing in New Mexico, and later a partner and I designed and hand built an authentic Territorial Style adobe home complete with vigas, tilework, and kiva fireplaces in the colorful Rio Grande Valley near Albuquerque.   

With Peter Temple (www.petertemplestudio.com) I founded Denali Crystal, a nationally known crystal glass sculpture company whose clients included Toyota, Pacific Bell, M.I.T., 3M Corporation, Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center and countless private collectors. Having worked in various mediums it’s a special delight to return to my first love – photography. I credit my father for the sensitivity and excitement with which I look at the world, and thank my mother, who was truly a lover and supporter. ~Rita Crane