Thomas Joshua Cooper (b. 1946, San Francisco, CA) is a landscape photographer who travels around the world to capture distinctive snapshots of nature. His images are dynamic yet simultaneously serene, often depicting scenes of nature untouched by human presence. Inspired by photographers such as Ansel Adams and Robert Frank, Cooper hearkens to the roots of the history of photography by using an antique camera and 19th-century printing techniques utilizing layers of silver and gold chloride. Taking these photographs can take up to weeks and months of intense painstaking preparation and travel to often desolate locations, and the results evoke a sense of deep contemplation and carry an eternal quality to them that reflects the time and patience gone into their production.
Most recently, Cooper’s work was featured at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in a retrospective entitled “Thomas Joshua Cooper: The World’s Edge” (2019-2020). Cooper’s works are in the collections of several institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, the J. Paul Getty Institute, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Tate Gallery, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In addition, he has also received multiple awards and fellowships from organizations such as the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Cooper works and resides in Glasgow, Scotland. In 1982, he founded the Fine Art Photography Department at the Glasgow School of Art, where he continues to teach.