Readers' Showcase: Tom Goodman
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Readers' Showcase: Tom Goodman

Homage a Caillebotte, 2009, from the portfolio Rain. Photo by Tom Goodman

How has your study of art history informed your photography?

In a word, 'profoundly'! My interests in art history date to my growing up in Baltimore and visiting the Walters Art Museum, one of America's hidden treasure troves. There was a Flemish altarpiece hanging there that completely enthralled me with its realism and narrative. It was like a diorama presented frieze-like.

I also built models as a child and delighted especially in those that included figures that would give the entire enterprise a sense of scale. I loved illusions whether in pop-up books or diorama at the Natural History Museum. As an undergraduate I thoroughly enjoyed art history (and had a marvelous professor to encourage my interest). In graduate school the MFA program at UNM was three years, not the normal two required everywhere else, and the degree culminated in both a thesis exhibition and written dissertation that was more than a statement on the wall. My professors said my written dissertation, 'The Emergence of Twentieth Century Illusionism', was the finest one ever written by an MFA student up to that time.