ALAN THOMAS is a publisher and photographer in Chicago. He was raised in Germany, Yugoslavia, and Virginia. He received his B.A. from Princeton University, where he studied photography with Emmet Gowin and Peter C. Bunnell, and an M. Phil. from Oxford University. Thomas is editorial director at the University of Chicago Press, where for more than 30 years he has published books in the humanities, focusing on literature, criticism, and religious studies. He has also published many books on the visual arts, including works by Susan Stewart, Michael Fried, Susie Linfield, Walter Benn Michaels, and W. J. T. Mitchell, as well as books by photographers James Welling, Ashley Gilbertson, Susan Meiselas, Alan Cohen, and Jed Fielding. For more information, visit his University of Chicago Press profile.
As a photographer, Thomas exhibited most recently in Lens2020 (2020) at Perspective Gallery in Evanston, IL; and in Go Down Moses (2019) at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. In 2012, his one-person show at the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Kolkata, India, surveyed photographs made over two decades in Chicago, Tokyo, and Kolkata. He has also exhibited at Catherine Edelman Gallery and the Illinois State Museum in Chicago; the Flak Photo Midwest Print Show in Madison, WI; Photo Works Gallery in Glen Echo, MD; and other venues. Thomas is a contributor to the online journals Design Observer and Places, which published his photographic series Chicago Self-Park (2010), Open Secrets: Photographs of Japan (2010), The Blue Corvette (2011), Approaching Calcutta (2013), Signs, Signs (on the January 2017 Women's March in Chicago), and 55x5. His most recent writings include essays on Lee Friedlander's Mirrors, Terry Evans's Heartland, Laura McPhee's Calcutta, and on editing Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire.
Thomas's book, 55x5, with an introduction by Kathryn Lofton, was published by Marquand Editions in 2018.