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Dr Thomas F. Zuck (1933 - 2014) was born in Cleveland, Ohio. An accomplished physician, his contributions to medicine and in particular The Hoxworth Blood Center in Cincinnati are notable. 

His love of photography resulted in his first exhibit of his work at the Phoenix Gallery of Fine Arts. He spent years shooting and developing prints, many of which never were published or exhibited. His love of photography did not diminish over the years and the result is a collection of photographs available for the first time.

Sometime during his early busy years, he was fortunate to have met Susan Shorb, who became his wife on July 15, 1961. She remained at his side at the beginning of what was to become one of the more prodigious transfusion medicine careers that spanned the next 53 years. Susan herself was an artist and painter matched Tom’s output - creating a number of landscapes and narrative paintings. 

The parallels with Zuck’s photographic process and his more well know contemporaries are obvious. Stark contrast and artfully photographed nudes were well represented in the end of the 20st century by artists like Herb Ritz, Richard Avedon and Robert Mapplethorpe. Its is unknown what Zuck’s influences were, however the period was a prodigious time for art, fashion design and photography. Innovations by photographers at this time were through process, equipment, and materials, and pushed the boundaries of what a photograph could represent. Zuck used the same tools in his work. Large format, negative and print development, and experimentation.

Zuck’s style of photographing the nude is similar to the artists of the time. They were to become the artists who popularized the nude as fashion and bridged the gap to fine art. At this same time art and fashion in turn elevated photography both commercially and as an artform.

Stylistically there is a surrealist element to some of Zuck’s work. His models are in in poses that subdue their features or obscure their face. The result is an edgy allure that is subdued yet seductive.

The story of Zuck’s artwork is yet to be written. What we do know is that as both a doctor and a lawyer, Zuck was well studied. He had enough drive to produce photos and experiment with tools and techniques. We do not know how the collection came to be found outside Cincinnati, having never been seen before. It produced works that were synonymous with a period that proved to be a seminal influence on the field of photography.


About the Collection

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