David Rheubottom

Artist Statement

My images are mainly landscapes of New England, the Southwest, and Great Britain (where I lived for many years). In my work I try to reveal the sense of a place -- that special quality that lies beyond the readily apparent.

During my career as a professor of anthropology, photography had been a professional tool -- producing a scientific record of the lives and habitat of the people I studied. But retirement opened another avenue -- to use photography to develop an aesthetic and artistic awareness. I decided to become a fine art photographer and concentrate on the making of black and white images using large- and medium-format film cameras and traditional darkroom techniques. I also work with digital media, but I prefer the very deliberate and contemplative way that ‘old fashioned’ techniques force me to see, think, and feel about the images that I create. This is a process that begins before I unpack and set up my view camera and extends from composing the image and studying the light, to planning the development of each sheet of film, its eventual enlargement, and then the processing of the final print. This is a multi-stage process which allows for creative control and expression at each stage. For me, photography is about the making an image, not the taking a picture. That difference between ‘making’ and ‘taking’ is central to my work. My photographic training was done at the New England School of Photography where I studied fine art photography with Nick Johnson, and in master classes in the West and Southwest with Bruce Barnbaum and Don Kirby. I find inspiration in the work of the masters, classic and contemporary: Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Brett Weston, and Michael Kenna, and Don Kirby. I am a member of the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists.


I was born in Lansing, Michigan, attended Michigan State (BA), Boston University (MA), and the University of Rochester (Ph.D). I have been a professor at Union College, the University of Houston, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Manchester (UK) and I have held visiting professorships at the University of Rochester, Brown University, and Harvard University.

Contact Information

295 Old Greenfield Rd.
Peterborough, NH 03458

Telephone: 603-769-0484

Website: davidrheubottom.com

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