W. M. Hunt

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W.M. Hunt is a photography collector, curator and consultant who lives and works in New York.



Hunt has been collecting photos since the 1960s. In October of 2020, a group of over 100 "anti-portraits," collected by Hunt for over 40 years, were available for sale at Christies.[1] Notable photographers included in this collection are Robert Mapplethorpe, Weegee, Irving Penn, Walker Evans, Diane Arbus, John Guttman, Richard Avedon, Albert Renger Patzch, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Sally Mann, Erwin Blumenfeld, and many others.[2]


His book "The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious" was published in 2011 by Aperture (US) and Thames & Hudson (UK) and by Actes Sud as "L'Oeil Invisible" in France.  It focuses on his "Collection Dancing Bear".  "Hunt's Three Ring Circus: American Groups before 1950," "Huddled Masses" and "Troop/Troupe" were published by Dancing Bear Books in 2014 and 2018 respectively.  He collaborated on "two narcissists walk into a bar" with Gerald Slota in 2019 (also Dancing Bear Books).

He has written for monographs on Bill Armstrong (with whom he collaborated on a performance piece "Thinking in Color"), Mark Beard, Luca Campigotto, Ahmet Ertug, Andy Freeberg, Manuel Geerinck, Larry Gianettino, Michael Grecco, Ron Haviv, Josef Hoflehner, Bohnchang Koo, David Julian Leonard, Martino Marangoni, Lauren Marsolier, Erwin Olaf, Jeff Sheng, Mickey Smith, Phillip Toledano, Paolo Ventura, and Frank Yamrus.

He made his major publishing debut when guest edited "delirium," an issue of the quarterly Aperture (No. 148, Summer 1997).

His writing also appears in Aperture's The Photo Book Review, PDN (Photo District News), Daylight, PhotoVision, Portfolio, Next Level, SPOT, etc.

Hunt was a founding supporter and a frequent contributor to L'Oeil de la Photographie.  


Hunt was an adjunct professor at The School of Visual Arts, and he continues to give workshops at Aperture, ICP, Maine Media Workshop and universities and art fairs.  For more than twenty years he organized and moderated the "Your Picture ... " series for PDN at Photo Expo.  

His talks and workshops on photography are variously titled "How I Look at Photographs", "How to Get What You Want" (with the artist Cig Harvey), "The Unseen Eye: A Life in Photographs and other digressions ...", "A Conversation in Color" and "The Walls of the Dancing Bear Cave or $#!? Lugged Home" in the US and internationally.


Founding partner of the photography gallery Hasted Hunt in Chelsea, Manhattan, and former director of photography at Ricco/Maresca gallery, W.M. Hunt debuted and represented artists including Lillian Bassman, Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, Edward Burtynsky, Elinor Carucci, Lynne Cohen, Luc Delahaye, Julian Faulhaber, Andreas Gefeller, Larry Gianettino, Jean-Paul Goude, Luis Mallo, Michael Martone, Lisette Model, James Mollison, Erwin Olaf, Eugene Richards, Martin Schoeller, Gerald Slota, Eric Solomon, Paulo Ventura, VII (Photo Agency), Alex Webb, Joel-Peter Witkin and Michael Wolf. Further he organized survey shows including "BOOM!", "Bird," "Colour Before Color (curated by Martin Parr), "Family," "Stripes and Stars: The American Flag in Outsider and Folk Art and Photography," and "Humankind" through the lens of (the photo agency) VII.


Hunt has been Chief Judge and Host of the SONY World Photography Organization Awards in London as well as judge or nominator for World Press Photo, Prix Pictet, Critical Mass, Getty Images, PDN, etc. as well as a portfolio reviewer at Houston's Fotofest, The New York Times Portfolio Review, Photo Lucida, Photo NOLA, Format UK, etc.

Hunt is on the board of directors of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund and has served on the boards of The Center for Photography at Woodstock (Vision Award 2009), AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) and as past Chairman of Photographers + Friends United Against AIDS and The Harry M. Stevens family Foundation.   

He is a former actor whose last stage performance was in "The Rise of David Levinsky" (1987) and on film in "The Bonfire of the Vanities" (1990). He is featured as himself in "The Many Sad Fates of Philip Toledano" (2015).


  • "Delirium" Ricco/Maresca, New York, 1995[3]
  • "Grace" The Center for Photography at Woodstock, 1996
  • "Sans Regard or No Eyes: Photographs from W.M. Hunt / Collection Dancing Bear" Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France, 2005[4]
  • "San Regard: La Collection Dancing Bear de W.M. Hunt" Musée de l'Élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2006[5]
  • "Eye: The Dancing Bear Collection of W.M. Hunt" Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2007[6]
  • "VII @ Galapagos" New York Photo Festival, New York, 2008 [7]
  • "RE: groups" Houston Center for Photography, Houston, 2010[8]
  • "The Unseen Eye" Appleton Museum of Art, Florida, 2010[9]
  • "I Get A Sickening Feeling Every Time I Think Of It - Ten from 2010" VII Gallery, DUMBO, Brooklyn, 2010[10]
  • "Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection exhibition George Eastman House"[11]


  1. ^ "The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection". Christies. Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  2. ^ "The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection". Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  3. ^ Cotter, Holland "Art in Review"
  4. ^ http://www.rencontres-arles.com/A09/C.aspx?VP3=CMS&ID=A09P1795[dead link]
  5. ^ "Sans Regard - Photo Elysée – Photo Elysée".
  6. ^ "Oog - Eye: The Dancing Bear collection of W.M.Hunt"
  7. ^ Photographie.com "Entretien avec Bill Hunt"
  8. ^ Houston Center for Photography "RE: groups"
  9. ^ Appleton Museum of Art "The Unseen Eye"
  10. ^ VII "I Get A Sickening Feeling Every Time I Think Of It"
  11. ^ artdaily.org

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