Sandy Skoglund was born in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1946. Skoglund studied studio art and art history at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts from 1964-68. She went on to graduate school at the University of Iowa in 1969 where she studied filmmaking, intaglio printmaking, and multimedia art, receiving her M.A. in 1971 and her M.F.A. in painting in 1972.
Skoglund moved to New York City in 1972, where she started working as a conceptual artist, dealing with repetitive, process-oriented art production through the techniques of mark-making and photocopying. In the late seventies Skoglund’s desire to document conceptual ideas led her to teach herself photography. This developing interest in photographic technique became fused with her interest in popular culture and commercial picture making strategies, resulting in the directorial tableau work she is known for today. Skoglund currently lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.