Meryl Meisler was born 1951 in the South Bronx and raised in North Massapequa, Long Island, NY. In 1973, while on an illustration track at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Meisler enrolled in a photography class. She bought her first camera and began photographing while at home on Christmas Break. In 1975, Meryl returned to New York City and studied with Lisette Model, continuing to photograph her hometown and the city around her. As a 1978 CETA Artist grant recipient, Meryl created a portfolio of photographs which explored her Jewish Identity for the American Jewish Congress. After CETA, Meryl began a 31 year career as a NYC Public School Art Teacher.
Meisler has received fellowships and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Puffin Foundation, Time Warner, Artists Space, CETA, the China Institute and the Japan Society. Her work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Historical Society, Dia Art Foundation, MASS MoCA, the New Museum for Contemporary Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and in public spaces including Grand Central Terminal, South Street Seaport and throughout the NYC subway system. Her work is in the permanent collections of the American Jewish Congress, AT&T, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Brooklyn Historical Society, Columbia University, Islip Art Museum, Library of Congress, and the Whitney Museum of American Art and in the Artist Book collections of Carnegie Mellon, the Chrysler Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art.