Thomas Weston Fels, Brief Biography

Thomas Weston Fels is an independent curator and writer specializing in American culture, photography and art, as well as all aspects of exhibitions and publications. He has worked as consultant and guest curator to a number of museums, including the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the J. Paul Getty Museum. In 1986 he was named a Chester Dale Fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in 1998-9 a Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow of the Huntington Library. Among the more than fifty exhibitions he has organized are presentations of the work of the photographers Eadweard Muybridge, and A. J. Russell. His Carleton Watkins: Western Landscape and the Classical Vision was presented at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1990. Fire and Ice: Treasures from the Photograph Collection of Frederic Church at Olana (2002), was shown at the new Dahesh Museum, in New York, and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Its companion volume, published by Cornell University Press, was nominated for the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award of the College Art Association, the Philip Johnson Award of Society of Architectural Historians, and the Wittenborn Memorial Book Award of the Art Library Society of North America. Mr. Fels is the author of numerous other catalogs and articles. O Say Can You See: American Photographs 1839-1939 was published by MIT Press in 1989, and Watkins to Weston: 101 Years of California Photography, 1849-1950 by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 1992. He has given public lectures at the Boston Athenaeum, the Addison Gallery, in Andover, Massachusetts, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr. Fels has written regularly for the Print Collectors Newsletter and On Paper magazine. He is a contributor to the volume on Carleton Watkins in the Getty Museum’s In Focus series. Mr. Fels currently directs his research and writing toward contemporary American history, and serves as president of the nonprofit Bennington Cultural and Arts Council.

Articles, Publications, Exhibitions