Merry Alpern (born 1955 in New York City) is an American photographer whose work has been shown in museums and exhibitions around the country including the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her most notable work is her 1993-94 series Dirty Windows, a controversial series in which she took photos of an illegal sex club through a bathroom window in Manhattan near Wall Street. In 1994, the National Endowment for the Arts rejected recommended photography fellowships to Alpern, as well as Barbara DeGenevieve and Andres Serrano. Merry Alpern became one of many artists assaulted by congressional conservatives trying to defund the National Endowment for the Arts because of this series. As a result, museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco rushed to exhibit the series. She later produced and exhibited another show called Shopping which included images from hidden video cameras.
Alpern was a sociology major when she dropped out of college in 1977. She moved to New York City shortly after and worked as a printer in a commercial lab. She later worked for Rolling Stone magazine and as an editorial freelancer.