Alone, Together, Apart

Curated by Patterson Sims.


The Minnesota-based documentary photographer Tom Arndt (b. 1944) has been a life-long, tireless observer of the world. Since the late 1960s Arndt has become the state’s leading documentary photographer. Working primarily in Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago (where he lived for seventeen years), he has also produced significant bodies of images of work in New York, New Orleans, Berlin, London, San Francisco and Mexico. His first book of photographs, Men in America, was published for his 1995 solo exhibition at the National Museum of American Art (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum).

In the forward of the catalogue for Home: Tom Arndt's Minnesota (Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2009), Arndt's long-time friend and fellow Minnesotan, Garrison Keillor, observed that Arndt’s images are of "ordinary folks out on the margins of society, not people with big backyards and privacy fences. They are the young, the elderly, the new immigrants from Alabama or Somalia, or Bismarck, the down-and-outers, the hard-luck cases, the scroungers, the naive or slightly nuts or downright wacko, the people you'd meet if you took public transportation… their vulnerability is written large on their faces.... They are not the models of our society, yet they possess the crucial DNA of our culture, and everybody knows this.”

Alone, Together, Apart: Tom Arndt’s Dance of Life comprehensively surveys Arndt’s deeply empathetic views of urban and small town life, agrarian existence, family gatherings, and political protests and campaigns: humanity – alone, together, and apart.

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