Ingrid Ellen Winther was born in 1943 in Bloomington, Indiana. Her father was a professor of history at Indiana University, and her mother worked as an administrative assistant in the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research. In 1960 she attended Pembroke College, and graduated cum laude in 1964 with honors in her American Civics major. Upon graduation, she earned a full scholarship to the University of Rochester, where she earned an M.A. in education. She moved on to earn a Ph.D. in 1970 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in history, writing her dissertation on anti-communism in California.
From 1970 to 1973 Winther worked as assistant executive secretary of the Organization of American Historians, the biggest organization in the historical profession for United States history. A few years later, she earned a Fulbright scholarship to teach in Argentina. She held several teaching positions across the United States, including at Princeton, and the University of California San Diego. Winther also worked for the Regional Oral History Office at Bancroft Library at U.C. Berkeley, where she researched the career of actress, opera singer, and Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas.
In 1982 Ingrid moved to Texas with her four children to teach American history at Texas Woman’s University. In 2000, Ingrid retired from teaching to explore her passion for art. In 2005 she earned a B.A. in art from the College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas, and from 2003-2007 she served as the Executive Director in the Visual Arts Society of Texas. Ingrid is now an MFA candidate in the Fiber Program at University of North Texas, and has her own studio, as well as several award-winning exhibitions.