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Tress (Arthur) photographs
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Scope and Contents

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Arthur Tress photographs
    creator: Tress, Arthur
    Identifier/Call Number: M2214
    Physical Description: 2 Linear Feet (58 prints in two boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1965-1983
    Abstract: Prints by American photographer Arthur Tress.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], Arthur Tress photographs (M2214). Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California.

    Biographical / Historical

    Arthur Tress (Nov. 24, 1940- ) has had an extremely active career and is well published, with much of his work incorporating his role as both director and photographer. His photographs engage a rich visual symbolism, often presenting dream-like, childhood states. He has also documented San Francisco in the 1960s and composed and photographed fantasy toy stage settings, such as the Teapot Opera. Over his career his work has been constantly inventive, often playful, always psychologically probing. Born in Brooklyn in 1940, Tress began his photography career as a teenager, photographing the dilapidated buildings and denizens of Coney Island. Early on he developed an interest in ethnographic photography and the production of photographic narratives, which led to a commission from the New York State Council on the Arts to produce Open space in the inner city; ecology and the urban environment (1971). His book, The Dream collector (1972), with staged photographic work based on his interviews with children and employing these same children to perform their dreams is now considered a classic in the photobook literature. With Theater of the mind (1976) Tress moved to adult fantasies and begins a period of overtly erotic work. In Facing up (alternatively titled Phallic phantasy, (1980), Tress moved to overtly gay photographic work. In more recent years Tress has continued in the “directorial mode,” and worked in color with miniature stage settings, producing The Teapot opera and the Fish tank sonata. He continues to actively photograph and exhibit.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Anonymous gift ; 2017. Accession MSS 2017-111.

    Scope and Contents

    58 approximately 8" x 10" prints by photographer Arthur Tress. Most of the prints are on double weight gelatin silver paper and are dry mounted on board.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Photography, Artistic
    Tress, Arthur