Biography

Thomas Joshua Cooper (born 1946, San Francisco) is an American photographer of Cherokee descent. He is considered amongst the premier contemporary landscape photographers.

Cooper received his bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California in 1969. In 1972, he received his master’s in photography from the University of New Mexico.

Cooper was inspired by the works of the photographers of the f/64 group of the 1930s and 1940s, such as Ansel Adams. Cooper states, "I'll live and die by the late works of Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand, and I think Robert Frank is the most extraordinary living photographic picture-maker."

Cooper loves being a photographer, but is frustrated by some of the vocabulary that is used in the field. He indicates, "I hate the words "snap", "shoot" and "take" when it comes to making photographs. Everything I do is very seriously built up. They are 'made' pictures."

Not only a photographer, Cooper is a poet and has written haiku books. Most of them are inspired by nature and reflect his photography.

He currently resides in Glasgow, Scotland, where he founded the Fine Art Photography Department at the Glasgow School of Art in 1982. He is now a senior researcher in the faculty of Fine Art, holding a Professorial role. He is married to Catherine Alice Mooney.

In 2009 Cooper achieved a Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography.

He is represented by Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh.

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