Gregory Crewdson

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Gregory Crewdson
Gregory Crewdson 2.jpg
Crewdson on location in Pittsfield, MA July 25, 2007
Born (1962-09-26) September 26, 1962 (age 60)
Brooklyn, New York
EducationBrooklyn Friends; John Dewey High School; SUNY Purchase, BA, 1985; Yale University, MFA, 1988
OccupationFine-art photographer, professor
EmployerYale University School of Art
AwardsSkowhegan Medal for Photography, National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship

Gregory Crewdson (born September 26, 1962) is an American photographer.[1] He photographs tableaux[2] of American homes and neighborhoods.

Life and career[edit]

Crewdson in 2007

Crewdson was born in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. He attended John Dewey High School.

As a teenager, he was part of a power pop group called The Speedies that hit the New York scene. Their song, "Let Me Take Your Foto" proved to be prophetic to Crewdson's future career. In 2005, Hewlett Packard used the song in advertisements to promote its digital cameras.

At Purchase College, State University of New York, he enrolled in a Photo 101 class taught by Laurie Simmons on a whim, and fell in love with the medium. He went on to study with Jan Groover[3] before graduating. He then received his MFA in Photography at the Yale School of Art, where he is now a professor and director of graduate studies in Photography.[4][5] In 2012, he was the subject of the feature documentary film Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters.[6] The film series followed the construction and the behind-the-scenes explanation from Crewdson himself of his thought process and vision for his pieces of his collection Beneath the Roses.

Crewdson is represented by Gagosian Gallery.[7]

Crewdson has been awarded the Skowhegan Medal for Photography [8] and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship[citation needed]. His work has been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Brooklyn Museum[citation needed].

He has two children, Lily and Walker, with his ex-wife Ivy Shapiro.[9]


Untitled photo from Crewdson's series Beneath the Roses (2003–2005)

Crewdson's photographs are elaborately staged and lit using crews familiar with motion picture production and lighting large scenes using motion picture film equipment and techniques.[10] Using shots that resemble film productions, Crewdson deconstructs American suburban life in his work.[11] He has cited the films Vertigo, The Night of the Hunter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blue Velvet, and Safe as having influenced his style,[12] as well as the painter Edward Hopper[13] and photographer Diane Arbus.[14]

Gregory Crewdson's most widely-known bodies of work include Twilight (1998–2002), Beneath the Roses (2003–2008), Cathedral of the Pines (2013–2014) and An Eclipse of Moths.[15] He works much like a director with a budget similar to that of a small movie production,[16] each image involves dozens of people and weeks to months of planning.[17]

Crewdson's only body of work made outside of the U.S. was Sanctuary (2009), set at the abandoned Cinecittá studios outside of Rome.[18] Nearly all of his other work before and since was made in the small towns and cities in Western Massachusetts.[19]



  • Hover. Artspace Books, 1995. ISBN 1891273000.
  • Twilight: Photographs by Gregory Crewdson. Harry N. Abrams, 2002. ISBN 0810910039. With an essay by Rick Moody.
  • Gregory Crewdson: 1985–2005. Hatje Cantz, 2005. ISBN 377571622X.
  • Gregory Crewdson: Fireflies. Skarstedt Fine Art, 2007. ISBN 0970909055.
  • Beneath the Roses. With Russell Banks. Harry N. Abrams, 2008. ISBN 978-0810993808.
  • Sanctuary. With Anthony O. Scott. Hatje Cantz, 2010. ISBN 978-3775727341.
  • In a Lonely Place. Hatje Cantz, 2011. ISBN 978-3775731362.
  • Gregory Crewdson. New York: Rizzoli, 2013. ISBN 978-0847840915.
  • Cathedral of the Pines. New York: Aperture, 2016. ISBN 978-1-597113-50-2. With a text by Alexander Nemerov.


  1. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (June 20, 2017). "Cue mist! Gregory Crewdson, the photographer with a cast, a crew and a movie-sized budget". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  2. ^ Campany, David (2008). Photography and cinema. Reaktion Books. pp. 140–. ISBN 978-1-86189-351-2.
  3. ^ Kennedy, Randy (January 12, 2012). "Jan Groover, Postmodern Photographer, Dies at 68". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Gregory Crewdson Biography. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  5. ^ Yale University School of Art: Gregory Crewdson. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  6. ^ Shapiro, Ben. "Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, official site". Ben Shapiro Productions. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  7. ^ Warren, Lynne, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography. Routledge. ISBN 1-57958-393-8.
  8. ^ Skowhegan Awards Honorees. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  9. ^ Mechling, Lauren (October 28, 2022). "Inside a Brooklyn Apartment Where the Walls Talk". Town and Country.
  10. ^ "Gregory Crewdson". V&A. Archived from the original on April 16, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  11. ^ Smith, Ian Haydn (2018). The short story of photography : a pocket guide to key genres, works, themes & techniques. London. ISBN 978-1-78627-201-0. OCLC 1002114117.
  12. ^ "Five in Focus: Gregory Crewdson's Five Favorite Films". Focus Features. Archived from the original on April 18, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  13. ^ Gregory, Crewdson. "Aesthetics of Alienation". Tate Etc. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  14. ^ "Gregory Crewdson". White Cube. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  15. ^ "Photographer Gregory Crewdson and his eerie rooms of gloom". The Guardian. October 9, 2016.
  16. ^ "Cue mist! Gregory Crewdson, the photographer with a cast, a crew and a movie-sized budget". The Guardian. June 20, 2017.
  17. ^ "Gregory Crewdson's Epic Effects". Smithsonian Magazine.
  18. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary The Epic Photographer Shoots Rome's Fabled Film Studio Cinecittà". Nowness.
  19. ^ Schwiegershausen, Erica (July 19, 2016). "How Gregory Crewdson Spends His Summer". The New York Times.
  20. ^ ""Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place" at Det Kongelige bibliotek". Archived from the original on December 19, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
  21. ^ ""Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place" at C/O Berlin". Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  22. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines". Gagosian Gallery. April 12, 2018.
  23. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines". The Photographers' Gallery.