View From Mount Holyoke, Massachusetts 2001.jpg

ABOUT/CURRICULUM VITAE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Aller was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1947. He is originally a self-taught photographer who began making photographs at the age of nine in an improvised darkroom in a friends in an old Victorian Era house in the Brightwood (North End) section of Springfield. As a "city kid" much of his time as a young boy was in "hanging out" with friends on street corners, in doorways of old apartment buildings, avoiding trouble - and taking pictures with an old Kodak Instamatic cartridge camera.

 

Later, after completing studies in Journalism, his foundational approach to photographing subject matter was in observing how people interacted on the street and in their relationship to their city environment. He developed an appreciation for the documentary street photography aesthetic which seemed more in line with his own picture-making feelings and objectives. Over time his ideas about subject matter changed as evidenced in the body of work entitled, Transfigured Landscapes, expressing an interest in man’s attitude toward the natural landscape, and how it is often altered and manipulated for man’s own use. Then eventually returning to photographing people in the context of their surrounding environment within the city or elsewhere. "To me, when making pictures, the literal image is the connection or link to one's conscious or subconscious past or present memory experienced. The picture is a reference or a notation of that experience."To me the camera is a kind of memory machine. It records instances latently on film, then is transferred onto paper."  The camera provides evidence of one's existence...a thread back to places one experiences in his youth.

 

He received his BA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and his MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. While studying within the Five College Studies Program at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts, he was influenced by the photographers – Elaine Mayes, Jerry Liebling, Bill Arnold, and filmmaker Tom Joslin, who were faculty there in the 1970’s. Other influences included Linda Connor while at Apeiron Workshops in Millerton, NY also in the 1970’s. Later influences included Ben Lifson while studying at Bard College.

 

His photographs have been published in Changing Prospects: The View from Mount Holyoke, a monograph of historical and contemporary paintings and photographs published by Cornell University Press for the exhibition at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in 2002 depicting the nearby Mount Holyoke Range. The exhibition also featured Thomas Cole’s original painting, ‘View From Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm–The Oxbow," painted in 1836. Other publications where his work has been included are in the monographs Phone.tography, and Unclothed:The Human Form, both published by the Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro, Vermont. Also, Newfoundland: An Unusual Twilight, a 2014 self-published monograph of color photographs made off the eastern coast of Newfoundland on Fogo Island and vicinity. And Envisages, a monograph of various mobile photography portraits using the iPhone, also self-published in 2014.

 

Collections

 

Museum of Modern Art, New York
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA
William Benton Museum of Art, UCONN-Storrs
University Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MA
Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA
Maine Museum of Photographic Arts, Portland, Maine
Elizabeth Moss Gallery, Falmouth, Maine

James River Graphics, South Hadley, MA

Joel Hall Dancers (Collection), Chicago, Illinois

Professor Emeritus of Photography from 1982-2016, Holyoke Community College, Massachusetts.
He lives in the eastern foothills of the Berkshires in Chesterfield, Massachusetts.

 

Education


MFA - Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College 1990
BA - University of Massachusetts, Amherst 1980
Apeiron Workshops, Millerton, NY, with Linda Connor, Elaine Mayes, summer 1978
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, Five College Studies Program 1978-79

 

Exhibitions


2021  The Human Epoch: Living in the Anthropocene, William Benton Museum of Art, Storrs, Connecticut

 

2017  Environmental Landscapes, Mill Arts Project, Easthampton City Arts, Eastworks, Easthampton, MA

          Recent Work: Robert Aller and William Hughes, Meta Lacey Gallery, New Britain Art League, New Britain, Connecticut

          Living In Simulacra, online gallery exhibition, Boston, MA

          Eyes of Western Massachusetts, Colson Gallery, Eastworks, Easthampton, MA

          Group Show, Gallery444ptown, Provincetown, MA

 

2016  Children of the Game: Northampton Little League Portraits, Historic Northampton Museum, Northampton, MA

 

2015  Microworks A.P.E. Gallery, Northampton, MA

 

2014  Faculty Exhibition, Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA

 

2013  Phone.tography, Vermont Center For Photography, Brattleboro, VT

          Unclothed: The Human Form, Vermont Center For Photography, Brattleboro, VT

 

2012  Hidden In Plain View, Paper City Studios, Race Street Gallery, Holyoke, MA

 

2011  Newfoundland, Elizabeth Moss Gallery, Falmouth, Maine

 

2010  Capture: 50 Photographic Artists, Maine Museum of Photographic Arts, Falmouth, Maine

          Kin and Kindred: Reflections on Childhood, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA

          Robert Aller, Frank Ward, David Prifti, Valley Photography Center, Springfield, MA

 

2009  Animals, Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, MA

 

2008  Heart’s Desire, Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, MA

 

2007  Views and Visions, Herter Gallery, University of Mass-Amherst, MA

          The World Is Still Flat: Landscapes on Paper, Smith College Museum of Art,

          Summer Institute in Arts Museum Studies, July-September, Northampton, MA

          Arts of the Valley, Open Square, Holyoke, MA

 

2006  Roots, Guild Art Centre, Northampton, MA

          Looking Beneath the Surface: The Quabbin and Hetch Hetchy Canyon,” Mouth Holyoke College

          Art Museum, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

          Still Life, Oxbow Gallery, Northampton, MA

 

2005  Arts of the Valley Celebration, Open Square, Holyoke, MA

          Earth, Water, Sky, Landscapes in Black & White, Oxbow Gallery, Northampton, MA

          Eye on Water, Exhibition/Symposium: The Place of Water in the World, Mount Holyoke College

          Art Museum, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

 

2004  The Art of Baseball, Group Show, Canal Gallery, Holyoke, MA

          Spain-1984, One-man exhibit, Polaroid Transfers, Cummington Community House Gallery, Cummington, MA

          Members Group Show, The Oxbow Gallery, Northampton, MA

          Robert Aller: The Poetic Landscape, A.P.E. Gallery/Thornes, Northampton, MA

 

2002  Changing Prospects: The View From Mount Holyoke, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MA

          Alumni Invitational Art Show, Taber Gallery, Holyoke Community College, MA

          Building The Collection: New Gifts and Acquisitions, The William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut-Storrs, Storrs, CT

 

2001  World Changed: Expressions from the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, Taber Art Gallery, Holyoke Community College,  MA               Valley Photographers, Arno Maris Gallery, Westfield State College, Westfield, MA

          Open Ends, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

 

2000  A November Show, Film/Photo Gallery, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

 

1999  Seventeen Artists, Film/Photo Gallery, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

          Photoworks, Art Gallery, Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA

 

1998  Holyoke Community College Faculty Art Exhibit, Heritage State Park, Holyoke, MA

 

1997  CCGS Faculty Art Exhibit, Arno Maris Gallery, Westfield State Coll., Westfield, MA

          HCC Faculty Art Exhibit, Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA

 

1996  Robert Aller and Frank Ward, Alfredo’s Photographic Gallery, Amherst, MA

          Robert Aller: A Photographic Survey, Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA

 

1995  Recent Acquistions: In memory of Charles Chetham, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA

 

1994  Robert Aller, OK Harris Gallery, Soho, New York City, NY, one-man show

          Town Grown, Town Shown, Northampton, MA (city-wide show)

 

1992  Robert Aller: Focus on Photography, Museum of Fine Arts, S & R Gallery, Springfield., MA

          Recent Acquisitions, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA

          New England Photographers '92", Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA,

          Zone Art Center, Springfield., MA, 1st Prize (juried by Marni Sandweiss, Curator, Mead Art Museum)

 

1991  Transfigured Landscapes, Smith College, Hillyer Gallery, Northampton, MA

 

1990  Northampton Postcards, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA

          Transfigured Landscapes, Center For The Arts, East Gallery, Northampton, MA

 

1989  France and Spain, Forbes Library, Art & Music Gallery, Northampton, MA

          3 Artists, Bard College, Avery Art Center, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

          Photo Response, Artspace Gallery, Franklin County Arts Council, Greenfield, MA (juried by Anita Douthat, PRC)

 

1988  Mystic Photo Ten, Mystic, Connecticut - 1st Prize (juried by Elaine Mayes, Phil Perkis, of Tisch-NYU)

 

1986  36/86, Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, MA

          Photo-Synthesis: Research into Photographic Activity in the Five College Area, Museum of Art, Smith College, Northampton, MA

          The Annual Show, Pratt Institute, The Puck Building Gallery Soho, New York City, NY. With Richard Avedon. Sponsored by Maine               Photographic

          Workshops. (Juried by Charles Traub, Robert Pledge and George Tice)

 

1984  Photographs: 1974-1984, The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA

 

1983  Five College Art Faculty Exhibit, with Holyoke Community College faculty, Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, MA

          Western Massachusetts Community College Art Faculty, Leverett Craftsmen Gallery, Leverett, MA

 

1981  Eleven Massachusetts Photographers, ZONE Gallery, Springfield., MA

 

1980  At Home, Glyph Gallery, Amherst, MA, (juried by Jerome Liebling, Chester Michalik)

          Robert Aller: Untitled Photographs, Wellman Hall, City Library, Springfield, MA

 

1979  An Exhibition of Photographs, Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA

          Valley Advocate Group Show, Cornell Galleries, Springfield. MA

          Group Show, Valley Artists Showcase, Northampton, MA

          Group Show, Dasenka Gallery, Northampton, MA

          Group Show, Valley Advocate Exhibition, Amherst, MA

 

1978  Group Show, Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA

 

Bibliography


Falzano, Rebecca. Review. The Big Picture, Maine Home & Design Magazine, April, 2010

 

Kevin Thomas, Susan Kelley. Review. Maine Museum of Photographic Arts Exhibition. Capture: 50 Photographic Artists, Maine Home & Design Magazine, April, 2010

 

Mellen, Kathleen. Art Review. Creating More, With Less, Hampshire Gazette, Art Notes, Northampton, MA, Nov. 1, 2005

 

Russell, Gloria. Art Review. Oxbow Gallery Showcases Local Artists, Sunday Republican, Leisure Times Section, Springfield, MA, May 2, 2004

 

Parnass, Larry. Art Review. Aller Images Still Nature’s Unshowy Grandeur, Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA, May 20, 2003, C3 Arts Section

 

Bagg, Mary. Art Review. “Field & Stream: Artists Depict the Sweeping Vistas from Mt. Holyoke--- and the Bucolic Expanse Below, Valley Advocate, MA, October 24 2002, Cover, pgs. 14-16, 19, 21

 

Glueck, Grace. Art Review. Hymning a Mountain in Many Views, The New York Times, NY, September 13, 2002

 

Russell, Gloria. Art Review. Photographers Have Field Day, Sunday Republican, Leisure Times Section, Springfield, MA, February 18, 2001

 

Gonter, Nancy H. Feature. 3 Professors Show Photographic Work, Union-News, Springfield, MA, September 9, 1999

 

Tobey, Robert. Review. ART. Acts of Bravery: Two Photographers Put their Artistic Histories on Display, Springfield Valley Advocate, April 18-24, 1996, Springfield, MA

 

McQuaid, Cate. Review. EXHIBITIONS. New England Photographers '92, VIEWS: The Journal of Photography in New England, Volume 13, No. 3, Summer, 1992.

 

Russell, Gloria. Feature. Speaking of Art. Sales and Rental Shows Photos While Hart Adds New Artists, Sunday Republican, Springfield., MA, 7/19/92

 

Russell, Gloria. Feature. Speaking of Art. Zone Takes Democratic Approach to Photography, Sunday Republican, Springfield., MA, 1/26/92
Wright, Patricia. Feature. Postcards, Paradise's Ironic Side, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA, 4/11/90

 

Gerard-Flynn, Anne. Feature. Photographers Send Their Best from 'Hamp, Sunday Republican, Leisure Time, Springfield, MA, 4/8/90

 

Arpad, Tori. Feature. ARTS WATCH, Wish You Were Here, Valley Advocate, 3/26/90 Brown, Judson. Feature. Wish You Were Here, 12 photographers interpret Northampton for Smith College postcard project," Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA, 1/10/90

 

Russell, Gloria. Review. Smith Museum Houses Powerful Exhibits, Sunday Republican, Springfield, MA, 4/15/90

 

Bourie, Richard. Feature. Novel Exposures. Artists Reinterpret City in Post-Card Vernacular, Union News, Springfield, MA, 3/13/90

 

Wright, Patricia. Review. Society's Needs --- at Ground Level, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA, 1/17/90

 

Rother, Caitlin. Feature. 'Hamp Postcards to Take "Artistic Form," Springfield. Union-News, Springfield, MA, 11/27/89

 

Brown, Carol. Review. Local Galleries' Shows Impress, The Day, New London, CT, 5/1/88

 

Muench, Lee. Review. Photo-Synthesis: An Informational Survey of Photography Resources in the Valley," VIEWS: The Journal of Photography in New England, Vol. 8, No. 1, Fall, 1986. Boston, MA

 

Edwards, Owen. Show review. The Annual Show, American Photographer, 3/86. New York, NY

 

Vihos, Lisa, Jones, B. Feature. Photography at SCMA, Journal, Smith College Museum of Art, Summer, 1986. Northampton, MA

 

Russell, Gloria. Feature. Exciting Experiments at Wistariahurst Show, Sunday Republican, Springfield, MA, 7/27/86

 

Karson, Robin. Review. Zone Gallery Shows off Area Talent, Springfield. Sunday Republican, 3/22/81. Springfield, MA

 

Kain, Laila. Review. Aller's Photo Exhibit Part Journalistic, Artistic, Springfield Daily News, 3/25/80. Springfield, MA

 

Publications


Newfoundland, An Unusual Twilight, 2014

 

Envisages, 2014

 

Unclothed, the Human Form, Vermont Center For Photography, 2013

 

Phone.tography, Vermont Center For Photography, 2013

 

Miscellanea, Iphoneography of students of Robert Aller, self-published, blurb.com 64 pgs., 2011

 

Changing Prospects: The View From Mount Holyoke, published in conjunction with the exhibition at Mount Holyoke College Museum of Art, 3 September, 2002 to 8 December, 2002, pg. 49 & 50

 

Northampton Postcards, exhibition catalogue published in conjunction with the exhibition by Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA, 13 March to 20 May, 1990.

 

Other Websites


https://www.socialdocumentary.net/photographer/robertaller
http://www.polanoid.net/
https://www.moma.org
https://www.moma.org/artists?locale=en&q=Open+Ends

Robert.jpg
Bill Hughes.jpg

Bill Hughes

Owner/Photographer, BH Photography • https://www.hughesstudio.com/

Bob Aller was one of the best professors I had while attending Holyoke Community College. Even though I was attending a local community college, I felt the courses I took with Professor Aller were equivalent to those one might take at an Ivy League school. It was one of the best experiences of my academic life.

1600041239670.jpg

Preston Rescigno

Photo Editor/Image Consultant • http://www.preston-rescigno.com/

When I began my journey at HCC I was a young person obsessed with photography. As an educator Bob Aller gave me a base of knowledge that has helped me become a successful photographer.

Profile Pic.jpg

Thomas Sweeney

Graphic Designer, Photographer, Instructional Designer • https://www.sweeneydesignphoto.com/

Every now and again you come across an educator who makes a profound difference on your education and your life. Robert Aller is one such educator. Without Bob’s guidance I would not have discovered my talent and passion for photography and graphic design. His amazing body of work has been an inspiration to me and so many others. Thank you Bob, I am forever in your debt.

sheron_rupp-3.jpg

Sheron Rupp

Photographer • https://www.sheronrupp.net

Sheron Rupp is best known for her color photographs of people, especially children, living in rural, small towns in America. Her photographs often include the rough and tumble of back yards and the quotidian moments in family interactions.