Gregory Crewdson

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Gregory Crewdson
Crewdson on location in Pittsfield, MA, 2007
Born (1962-09-26) September 26, 1962 (age 61)
Brooklyn, New York
EducationBrooklyn Friends; John Dewey High School; SUNY Purchase, BA, 1985; Yale University, MFA, 1988
Occupation(s)Fine-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] who makes large-scale, cinematic, psychologically-charged prints of staged scenes set in suburban landscapes and interiors. He directs a large production and lighting crew to construct his images.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Crewdson in 2007

Crewdson was born in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. As a child, he attended Brooklyn Friends School, and then John Dewey High School.

As a teenager, he was part of a power pop group called the Speedies.[3] Their song, "Let Me Take Your Foto" was in 2005 used by Hewlett-Packard in advertisements to promote its digital cameras.[4]

Crewdson attended Purchase College, State University of New York, where he initially planned to study psychology.[5] At Purchase, he enrolled in a photography course taught by Laurie Simmons[6] and also studied with Jan Groover.[7] He received an MFA in photography from the Yale School of Art.[8]

Life and work[edit]

Crewdson is a professor and the director of graduate studies in photography at Yale School of Art.[9]

Untitled photo from Crewdson's series Beneath the Roses (2003–2008)

Crewdson's photographs are elaborately planned, produced, and lit using crews familiar with motion picture production who light large scenes using cinema production equipment and techniques.[10] He works with a lighting team, art director, make-up and wardrobe department, props and effects to create mood, atmosphere, and open-ended narrative images.[11] He has worked with the same director of photography, Richard Sands, along with other core team members, for some 25 years.[12] He works much like a director with a budget similar to that of a movie production,[13] each image involves dozens of people and weeks to months of planning.[14]

Using shots that resemble film productions, Crewdson deconstructs American suburban life in his work.[15] 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,[16] as well as the painter Edward Hopper[17] and photographer Diane Arbus.[18]

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.[19] Crewdson's only body of work made outside of the U.S. was Sanctuary (2009), set at the abandoned Cinecittá studios outside of Rome.[20] Nearly all of his other work before and since was made in the small towns and cities in Western Massachusetts.[21]

In 2012, he was the subject of the feature documentary film Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters.[22] The film series followed the construction of and an explanation by Crewdson of his thought process and vision for pieces of Beneath the Roses.

Personal life[edit]

Crewdson lives primarily in western Massachusetts in a former Methodist church.[23] His partner, Juliane Hiam,[24] is a writer and producer[25] and the two work closely together.[26] Hiam has also appeared as a subject in numerous of Crewdson's pictures.[27][28] He has two children, Lily and Walker, from a previous marriage to Ivy Shapiro.[29] Crewdson is an open-water swimmer[30] and has said that the meditative state he achieves with his daily swimming practice is fundamental to his creative process as an artist.[31]


  • 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.
  • Fireflies. Skarstedt Fine Art, 2007. ISBN 0970909055.
  • Beneath the Roses. With Russell Banks. Harry N. Abrams, 2008. ISBN 978-0810993808.
  • Dream House. With text by Tilda Swinton. John Rule, 2009. ISBN 978-8888359410.
  • 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.
  • An Eclipse of Moths. New York: Aperture, 2020. ISBN 978-1683952213. With an introduction by Jeff Tweedy.
  • Alone Street. New York: Aperture, 2021. ISBN 978-1597115131. With an essay by Joyce Carol Oates and an interview with the artist by Cate Blanchett.
  • Gregory Crewdson: Eveningside, 2012–2022. Milan: Skira Editore, 2022. ISBN 8857248429. Text by Jean-Charles Vergne.

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Gregory Crewdson: Photographs, White Cube Gallery, London, 1995[32]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Hover, Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY, 1997[33]
  • Gregory Crewdson. House Taken Over, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain, 1998; and traveled to Salamanca, 1999[34]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Twilight, Luhring Augustine, New York, NY, 2002;[35] White Cube, London, 2002;[36] Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA, 2002[37]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Beneath the Roses, Luhring-Augustine Gallery, New York, 2005;[38] White Cube, London, 2005;[39] Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA, 2005 (all three concurrently)[40]
  • Gregory Crewdson: 1985–2005, Kunstverein Hannover, Hanover, Germany;[41] and traveled to Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Germany, 2006;[42] Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; and Landsgalerie Linz, Austria, 2006[43]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Fireflies, Skarstedt Fine Art, New York, NY, 2006[44]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Beneath the Roses Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA, 2008;[45] Gregory Crewdson, White Cube, London, 2008;[46] Gregory Crewdson, Luhring Augustine, New York, NY, 2008[47]
  • Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place, traveling show, C/O Berlin, Berlin, 2011; Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden, 2011;[48] Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011/2012;[49][50] Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, Australia, 2012;[51] Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 2013;[52] City Gallery Wellington; and Dunedin Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand, 2013[53]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Fireflies, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY, 2014;[54] SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM, 2015;[55] Berkshire Botanical Garden, Leonhardt Galleries, Stockbridge, MA, 2021[56]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY. 2010;[57] Gagosian Gallery, Rome, Italy, 2011;[58] TIFF '11 Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2011[59] La Fábrica Gallery, Madrid, Spain[60]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Dream House, The San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA, 2015[61]
  • Cathedral of the Pines, Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2016;[62] Galerie Templon, Brussels and Paris concurrently, September–October 2016;[63] The Photographers' Gallery, London, 2017;[64] Centre of Contemporary Art, Toruń, Poland, November 2017 – January 2018[65]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary, Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Frankfurt, Germany, April–July 2017[66]
  • The Becket Pictures, FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France, 2017[67]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Eveningside, Gallerie d'Italia, Turin, Italy, October 2022 – January 2023[68]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Eveningside, Rencontres d'Arles, Arles, France, July–September 2023[69]
  • Gregory Crewdson: Forest Fables, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, September–October 2023[70]


  • Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowship[71]
  • Skowhegan Medal for Photography, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME.[72]
  • Skowhegan Medal for Photography[73]
  • National Endowment for the Arts fellowship[74]
  • Honorary Doctorate, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA.[75]
  • Honorary Doctorate, SUNY Purchase, NY.[76]
  • Distinguished Artist Award, St. Botolph Club Foundation, Boston, MA.[77]


Crewdson's work is held in the permanent collections of major institutions worldwide, including:

Films about Crewdson[edit]


  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. ^ Larocca, Amy (March 27, 2008). "Loneliness and Multitudes".
  3. ^ Sommer, Tim (August 3, 2002). "In the Late '70s, Teen Punks Ruled New York. These Are Their Stories". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Yablonsky, Linda (September 11, 2005). "A Photographer's Pop Star Moment". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Weingart, Ken (May 18, 2016). "An Interview with Gregory Crewdson".
  6. ^ Abrams, Amah-Rose (April 15, 2016). "Beautiful Intimacy and Isolation with Gregory Crewdson". Artnet News. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  7. ^ Kennedy, Randy (January 12, 2012). "Jan Groover, Postmodern Photographer, Dies at 68". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Gregory Crewdson Biography. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  9. ^ Yale University School of Art: Gregory Crewdson. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  10. ^ "Gregory Crewdson". V&A. Archived from the original on April 16, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  11. ^ Fletcher, Kenneth (June 2008). "regory Crewdson's Epic Effects".
  12. ^ "Rick Sands: Breaking the Light Barrier".
  13. ^ "Cue mist! Gregory Crewdson, the photographer with a cast, a crew and a movie-sized budget". The Guardian. June 20, 2017.
  14. ^ "Gregory Crewdson's Epic Effects". Smithsonian Magazine.
  15. ^ 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.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  16. ^ "Five in Focus: Gregory Crewdson's Five Favorite Films". Focus Features. Archived from the original on April 18, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  17. ^ Gregory, Crewdson. "Aesthetics of Alienation". Tate Etc. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  18. ^ "Gregory Crewdson". White Cube. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  19. ^ "Photographer Gregory Crewdson and his eerie rooms of gloom". The Guardian. October 9, 2016.
  20. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary The Epic Photographer Shoots Rome's Fabled Film Studio Cinecittà". Nowness.
  21. ^ Schwiegershausen, Erica (July 19, 2016). "How Gregory Crewdson Spends His Summer". The New York Times.
  22. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (October 30, 2012). "Captured by a Camera, a Poetry of Lost and Missed Connections". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  23. ^ Lubow, Arthur (August 20, 2020). "For Gregory Crewdson, Truth Lurks in the Landscape". The New York Times.
  24. ^ Schwiegershausen, Erica (July 19, 2016). "How Gregory Crewdson Spends His Summer". The New York Times.
  25. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 26, 2017). "Scarlett Johansson in Talks to Star in Focus Drama 'Reflective Light'".
  26. ^ "Submerged and Interior: An Interview with Gregory Crewdson". October 24, 2016.
  27. ^ Stanley, Roderick (August 15, 2017). "How Gregory Crewdson captured the dark heart of America, with a little help from his friends".
  28. ^ Booth, Hannah (August 4, 2017). "Juliane Hiam remembers posing for Gregory Crewdson's Cathedral Of The Pines, 2013".
  29. ^ Mechling, Lauren (October 28, 2022). "Inside a Brooklyn Apartment Where the Walls Talk". Town and Country.
  30. ^ "Notes on Swimming: Route and Repetition".
  31. ^ Rosenberg, David (February 5, 2016). "For Photographers, Living Life Is a Constant State of Preproduction".
  32. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Photographs, at White Cube Gallery".
  33. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Hover, at Luhring Augustine, Soho".
  34. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: House Taken Over".
  35. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Twilight".
  36. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Gregory Crewdson".
  37. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Twilight".
  38. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Beneath the Roses".
  39. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Beneath the Roses".
  40. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Beneath the Roses".
  41. ^ "GREGORY CREWDSON 1985-2005".
  42. ^ "Gregory Crewdson 1985–2005".
  43. ^ "Gregory Crewdson – Photographs 1985–2005".
  44. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Fireflies".
  45. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Beneath the Roses".
  46. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Beneath the Roses".
  47. ^ "Gregory Crewdson, Beneath the Roses".
  48. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place".
  49. ^ ""Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place" at Det Kongelige bibliotek". Archived from the original on December 19, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
  50. ^ ""Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place" at C/O Berlin". Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  51. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place".
  52. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place".
  53. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place".
  54. ^ "Chasing Fires in the Dark". The New York Times.
  55. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Fireflies".
  56. ^ "Fireflies: The Photographs of Gregory Crewdson".
  57. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary".
  58. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary".
  59. ^ "Five Exhibits to See at TIFF Future Projections".
  60. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary: The Epic Photographer Shoots Rome's Fabled Film Studio Cinecittà".
  61. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Dream House".
  62. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines". Gagosian Gallery. April 12, 2018.
  63. ^ "Gregory Crewdson 'Cathedral of the Pines'".
  64. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines". The Photographers' Gallery.
  65. ^ "Exhibition Of Gregory Crewdson Photography".
  66. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary".
  67. ^ "Gregory Crewdson : Interview with FRAC Auvergne".
  68. ^ "Gregory Crewdson. Eveningside | Gallerie d'Italia Torino".
  69. ^ "Gregory Crewdson at Les Rencontres d'Arles".
  70. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Forest Fables".
  71. ^ Beem, Edgar Allen (May 27, 2015). "How I Got That Grant: The Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowship". PDN Photo District News.
  72. ^ "Skowhegan Medal for Photography".
  73. ^ Skowhegan Awards Honorees. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  74. ^ "1992 Annual Report". Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  75. ^ "Montserrat College of Art commencement". The Salem News.
  76. ^ "Purchase College, SUNY Commencement Honorees".
  77. ^ "St. Botolph Club Distinguished Artist Award Recipients".
  78. ^ "Collection by Artist, Gregory Crewdson".
  79. ^ "Collection by Artist, Gregory Crewdson".
  80. ^ "Collection by Artist, Gregory Crewdson".
  81. ^ "Collection by Artist, Gregory Crewdson".
  82. ^ "Search The Collection". Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  83. ^ "Collection by Artist, Gregory Crewdson".
  84. ^ "Collection by Artist, Gregory Crewdson".
  85. ^ "The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation". The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation. Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  86. ^ "Collection by Artist, Gregory Crewdson".
  87. ^ "Gregory Crewdson". Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  88. ^ "Collection by Artist, Gregory Crewdson".
  89. ^ "Movie review: 'Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters' of art in progress". Los Angeles Times. March 8, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  90. ^ "King of cinematic stills: Gregory Crewdson's casting secrets". Canon, UK.