Robert Del Tredici

November 6, 2006

Robert Del Tredici is an artist, photographer, and teacher with a BA in philosophy, an MA in Comparative Literature (University of California, Berkeley), and an interest in the dynamic between image and text.

His first sustained artwork was a series of 100 pen-and-ink illustrations to Herman Melville's Moby Dick, done in the early 1960s. He studied under Tibetan teacher Chogyam Trungpa in the early 1970s, who gave him the name "Good Eye of Enlightenment."

Del Tredici began documenting the nuclear age in 1979. His first book of photographs and interviews, The People of Three Mile Island (Sierra Club Books, 1980), was part sociology and part critique of nuclear power. His second book, At Work in the Fields of the Bomb (Harper & Row, 1987), documented the US nuclear weapons industry and won the 1987 Olive Branch Book Award for its contribution to world peace. (The photo at right is from this book. Click on it to see a larger version)

Many of the photos from this book form part of a slide show on the dangers of Nuclear Power which Robert helped create as part of a collaborative effort with Dr. Gordon Edwards, Vanier teacher and co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR). This slide presentation, entitled "The Science and the Social Issues behind Nuclear Power Technology" was part of the Vanier College Math and Science Lecture Series held in November 2006.

In 1987 Robert founded The Atomic Photographers Guild, a collective of 24 photographers who make culturally visible all aspects of the nuclear age. In 1991 he began documenting the nuclear weapons industry in the former Soviet Union.

During the Clinton administration, under Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary, Del Tredici became principal photographer and designer for three government reports on the present, past, and future of the radioactive cleanup of the US nuclear weapons complex.

In 2000 he published an expanded series of his Moby-Dick illustrations under the title Floodgates of the Wonderworld:(Kent State University Press). Since September 11, 2001, he has been working in collage in an effort to put the post-9/11 world into perspective. He teaches photography, drawing, and the history of animated film in Montreal.