Born in 1964 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Lives and works in New York. Penelope Umbrico studied at Ontario College of Art in Toronto and received a MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she currently teaches Photography, Video and Related Media.

She has presented numerous solo and group exhibitions, notably at MoMA PS1, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the International Festival of Photography in Pingyao, China, Kunstverein Ludwigshafen in Germany, the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane Australia, the Carpenter Center at Harvard University. Her work is represented in permanent collections at MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and ICP in New York, to name a few.

She received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Anonymous Was A Woman Award, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship as well as the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer Fellowship.