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Robert Glenn Ketchum

Robert Glenn Ketchum’s imagery, exhibitions, numerous publications, and personal activism have helped to define photography’s successful use in conservation advocacy. Ketchum’s vision for the role of art in promoting the protection of the planet throughout his illustrious career has contributed to pivotal shifts in the communication methods of science and conservation.

Ketchum’s proactive dedication to the places he photographs has resulted in vast awareness and conservation measures. His 1980s photographs of Alaska’s threatened Tongass Rainforest were instrumental in leading Congress to set aside one million of its oldgrowth acres as America’s largest national forest with the passage of the Tongass Timber Reform Law. His work has been featured in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the High Museum, and the Houston Museum of Fine Art.

Ketchum was named by Audubon magazine as one of the 100 people “who shaped the environmental movement of the 20th Century.” American Photo magazine listed him one of the 100 most important people in contemporary photography in the 1990’s, and then in 2010, named him 5th in their American Masters series. Recent work in new technologies has further prompted Digital Photo Pro magazine to name Ketchum one of the new digital masters.

Ketchum was a founding board member of the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies.  He also served as the Curator of Photography for the National Park Foundation for whom he organized the exhibit and wrote “American Photographers and the National Parks” the defining history of conservation photography in North America.

Ketchum is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), and a lifetime Trustee of the Alaska Conservation Foundation. He is also distinguished lecturer and teacher whose public engagements have included everything from small high schools to large colleges, multi-national corporations and the National Academy of Sciences.

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste