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Robert Glenn Ketchum '66

Over the last 40 years, Robert Glenn Ketchum’s photography, writing exhibits, and numerous books have made him one of the most successful advocate/artists in American history. In the centennial issue of Audubon magazine he was named as one of the 100 people “who shaped the environmental movement of the 20th Century.” He is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), and a lifetime Trustee of the Alaska Conservation Foundation.

Since 2003, Ketchum has been active in the “No Pebble Mine” campaign, opposing the use of Alaska land near Bristol Bay for an open-pit copper and cyanide gold-leach mine. Ketchum partnered with other groups opposing this project while garnering further support from companies such as Tiffany & Co. and Orvis. Through his dedication to this project, he was able to persuade investors to withdraw from the Pebble mine development consortium and the effects did not stop there. President Obama used Executive Action in 2014 to permanently protect the fishery of Bristol Bay from oil and gas development.
As importantly, Ketchum’s fine print work has helped to define contemporary color photography, prompting American Photo to list him as one of the 100 most important people in photography, and Digital Photo Pro magazine to call him one of the new digital masters. In 2001 the North American Nature Photographer’s Association (NANPA) also named him Photographer of the Year.

Ketchum’s ability to weave his projects into useful ways that serve issues, fuel media, raise money and drive effective legislation are enhanced by his skills as a distinguished lecturer. On behalf of conservation, Ketchum has addressed the National Academy of Science, and is sought after as a speaker on college campuses and academic institutions nationwide. Having served as Curator of Photography for the National Park Foundation for 15-years, when he speaks specifically about the medium of photography, he often infuses his lectures with an historical perspective that underscores photography’s role in helping to foster the American public’s environmental consciousness. Additional acknowledgements for his wide-ranging accomplishments include United Nations Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography, and the Robert O. Easton Award for Environmental Stewardship.

Ketchum has also worked in textiles for more than 25-years, translating his photographic imagery into hand-embroidered screens and loom-weavings in China. His fine prints and embroideries are in numerous national collections including the Museum of Modern Art (NY), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), and large study collections of his work have been established at the Huntington Library, Museums and Garden (LA), and the Amon Carter Museum (TX).
Ketchum was one of the first Photography MFA’s to graduate from California Institute of the Arts, where he later taught for several years.

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