Dianora Niccolini was born in Florence, Italy, to an American mother and a father from an old Florentine family. She lived in Florence throughout the second world war, and at the age of almost nine years old, she came to the U. S. A.
When she turned 18, she left home and came to New York city tostudy art. She met a group of dancers and her passion, in her late teens and early twenties, was ballet. Not until she metWeegee, in 1963, did she take up photography. Since then, Dianora's professional career and focus has been photography. In 1973,she began to create photographic bodies of work which resulted in exhibits. Her first photographic exhibit was in 1974. It was a serious study of the female nude. Her second exhibit was in 1975. It was a study of the male nude which was favorably reviewed by Gene Thornton in The Sunday New York Times of December 7, 1975. One of her first male models was an Afro-American body builder. His photographs have been included in many photographic anthologies and were also widely exhibited in the mid seventies and pre dated Mapplethorpe's images of body builders by several years. Dianora Niccolini's male nude images have definitely influenced many photographers. She is considered to be one of the female pioneers of the male nude in photography. Dianora continues to photograph the male nude, and 15 of her photographs, as well as the cover, were included in THE MALE NUDE book by David Leddick and published by Taschen in 1998. David Leddick's most recent book, MEN IN THE SUN, published by Universe/Rizzoli in 1999, also includes several of her photographs including the front and back covers. In 1998 she had a one woman mini- retrospective at the Throckmorton Fine Art gallery in New York city. Dianora's creative venue is primarily photography, but she paints as well. In 1977, she exhibited the Mona Lisa Recycled series (mixed media) in which she combined her painting skills with her photography. These images were hand generated, not computer generated. They predated computer generated art by several years.
Dianora prides herself in exploring and stretching artistic boundaries. She believes that art is an open ended experience with infinite possibilities. She attributes her love of art and creative daring to her Florentine upbringing. Her 20 years of experience as a medical photographer contributed as well to her love of the perfect form. Ms. Niccolini has had 2 photographic books published WOMEN OF VISION, Unicorn Publishers-1982, and MEN IN FOCUS - Morgan & Morgan, in1983). Two more books are pending. Dianora Niccolini was thefirst president of THE PROFESSIONAL WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS, which sheserved from 1979 to 1984. Under her leadership, PWP became recognized as aleading professional organization for women photographers. She has taughtphotography at the Germain school of photography, The New York Instituteof photography, The New York Institute of Technology and at The Learning Annex as well.