Photographer as Collector
April 2 - May 4, 2013
The exhibition included several of Whelan's own images as well as a rich sampling of photographs from his distinguished collection by such nationally renowned artists including: Maine's own Paul Caponigro, Joyce Tenneson, Olive Pierce and Tillman Crane; as well as Elizabeth Opalenick, Andrea Modica, Norman Mauskopf, Christopher James, Craig Stevens, Costa Manos, Arno Minkkinen and Stella Johnson, among others, most of whom came to Maine to teach at the then Maine Photographic Workshops.
Whelan, an Ohio native, arrived in Rockport in 1989 to work at the Workshops and opened his bookstore, Timothy Whelan Photography Fine Photographic Prints and Books, in order to stay in the area. Over the next 18 years it became recognized as one of the finest photo bookstores in the United States. His store served as a meeting ground for the legions of world-renowned photographers who came to teach at the Workshops, and their students. As a result, Whelan amassed one of the finest collections of contemporary photography in the State. Although the bookshop officially closed in October 2010, a smaller venue continues today at the Maine Media Workshops + College in the center of Rockport village.
Whelan bought his first photograph at age twelve during a trip with his mother to Yosemite National Park where he purchased Ansel Adams’ image "Clearing Winter Storm" for $25. The young Whelan was captivated by the clarity of the print and it made him see the world in a different way. HIs lifelong search for and collecting distinctive photographs had begun, and Whelan continues to buy, sell, and trade contemporary photographs to this day.