Arthur Tress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Arthur Tress is a notable American photographer born on November 24, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. He is well known for his staged surrealism[1] and exposition of the human body.


  • Abraham Lincoln High School, Coney Island, New York
  • B.F.A. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
  • Film School in Paris France

Currently resides in Cambria, California

Early life[edit]

First photograph at age 12. Arthur Tress' first subjects were circus freaks and dilapidated buildings around Coney Island where he grew up. The youngest of three children in a divorced family, Arthur spent time in his early life with both of his parents: his father who re-married and lived in an upper class neighbourhood, and his mother, who remained single after the divorce and whose life was not nearly so luxurious. In high school, he also studied the art of painting. Arthur Tress mainly took landscaped photos in his childhood.

After college[edit]

After graduating from Bard College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1962, Arthur moved to Paris, France to attend film school. While living in France, Arthur traveled to many locations, including Japan, Africa, Mexico, and through most of Europe. While on these journeys, he observed many secluded tribes and cultures. He was fascinated by the roles played by the shaman of the different groups of people he visited. The cultures he was introduced to would play a permanent role in his later work. Tress spent the spring and summer of 1964 in San Francisco, taking pictures in the city documenting the Republican Convention that nominated Barry Goldwater, civil rights demonstrations at segregated car dealerships on Van Ness Avenue, and the Beatles launching their 1964 tour. Tress took over 900 photographs that were put away and re-discovered in 2009. They were featured in a show at San Francisco's deYoung Museum.[2]



  • Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
  • International Museum of Photography, Rochester, New York
  • Center for Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois
  • Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France
  • Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam Netherlands
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
  • Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas
  • Whitney Museum of Art, New York, New York
  • Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California

Monographs & Books of Photography[edit]

  • Open Space in the Inner City: Ecology and the Urban Environment. New York: New York State Council on the Arts, 1971
  • Arthur Tress: The Dream Collector. Text by John Minahan. Richmond: Westover Publishing Company, 1972 and New York: Avon Books, 1974
  • Shadow. A Novel in Photographs. New York: Avon Books, 1975
  • Theater of the Mind. Text by Duane Michaels, Michel Tournier and A.D. Coleman. Dobbs Ferry: Morgan and Morgan, 1976.
  • Reves. Text by Michel Tournier. Brussels: Edition Complexe, 1979.
  • Talisman. Edited by Marco Livingstone. Oxford: Museum of Modern Art Oxford, 1986.
  • The Teapot Opera. Photographs and text by Arthur Tress. Goro International Press Co., LTD., 1986.
  • Memories. Photographs by Arthur Tress, Poems by Guillaume Apollinaire. 21st Editions, 2003
  • Arthur Tress San Francisco 1964 by James Ganz. Prestel USA, 2012
  • Arthur Tress:Transréalités. contrejour.France. 2013

Current & Future Projects[edit]

  • Fish Tank Sonata. Bulfinch Press, 2000.
  • Arthur Tress: Fantastic Voyage : Photographs 1956-2000. Bulfinch, 2001.
  • Male of the Species: Four Decades of Photography by Arthur Tress. Text by Michale Tournier. Fotofactory Press, 1999.
  • Teapot Opera. Abbeville Press, 1988
  • Arthur Tress: Facing Up. Top Choice Press, LLC, 2004.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Goysdotter, Moa (2013). Impure Vision: American Staged Art Photography of the 1970s. Lund: Nordic Academic Press. ISBN 9789187351006. 


  1. ^ Hirsch, Robert; Erf, Greg (CON) (2010-12-28). Exploring Color Photography: From Film to Pixels. Focal Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-240-81335-6. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  2. ^

External links[edit]