Henry Wessel (July 28, 1942 – September 20, 2018) was an American photographer and educator. He made "obdurately spare and often wry black-and-white pictures of vernacular scenes in the American West".
Wessel produced a number of books of photography. He was the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and three National Endowment for the Arts grants and his work is included in the permanent collections of major American, European, and Asian museums.
His first solo exhibition was curated by John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1972 and he was one of ten photographers included in the influential New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape exhibition at George Eastman House in 1975. His work has since been exhibited in solo exhibitions at Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Wessel was emeritus professor of art at San Francisco Art Institute, where he taught from 1973 to 2014.
Film and audio
Henry Wessel tells us why he is inspired by the everyday lives he captures in his photographs