Tom Arndt, ’68
Somewhere between street photography and solemn portraits sits the work of Tom Arndt. He’s drawn to public events, but is more likely to shoot the crowd than the parade, the concert, or the game. He may work in humble settings, but he’s not mocking the people who live or work there.
A native of south Minneapolis, Arndt has traveled and shot widely, but Minnesota remains a favored, frequent subject. A 2009 book and exhibition, “Home: Tom Arndt’s Minnesota,” testifies to how closely he’s paid attention to and savored the moments behind his lens. Ordinary yet complex people can be found anywhere, he insists.
His deepest inspiration comes from the work of photographers Robert Frank and John Szarkowski. Like them, he found unhurried observation a reliable way of creating memorable images. His work has been collected by MOMA in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
In a 2009 public TV interview, he asserted his lifelong motivation for paying attention through his lenses: “We are each other’s memories.”