Tommy Olof Elder

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In 1981 Tommy Olof Elder moved with his family to Ashfield, MA where he established himself as a photographer, first locally and then expanding his customer base to cover the entire USA. His customers were craft artists, his specialty glass, and his first customer in the area was Josh Simpson, a glass artist established in Shelburne Falls; that collaboration and friendship has lasted ever since.

Shortly after arriving in the Connecticut Valley, Elder became friends with Jane Lund, painter, and through her got to know the other members of the group known as the “Northampton New Realists.” Having completed his professional photographic training in his native Sweden in the early 1950s, Tommy Elder was already highly experienced in black and white photography so it was only natural that he continued in this tradition when he looked for a new inspiration.

These black and white portraits were part of a special project, first of the painters of the New Realists group and then including Barry Moser, master printmaker and illustrator.

The project ended when, for professional reasons, Elder and his family moved from city to city and country-to-country over the following 27 years. He and his wife are now back as residents of Ashfield where they started so many years ago.