Reviews for Portraits of Trees

  • “Like the best portrait painters, Zetterstrom draws forth the sap and heartwood of the trees he’s photographed for 35 years.” Chris Bergeron, The Daily News, Boston, August, 29, 2010
  • “As a photographer of trees and an activist in their protection Tom Zetterstrom has probably done more to promote their beauty and value than Joyce Kilmer.” Eleanor Charles, The New York Times, November 12, 2000
  • “Portraits of Trees” partakes in a tradition whose roots lie deep in nineteenth-century photography and painting….Zetterstrom has both built a bridge to the past and created a body of work that fully reflects a particular aspect of late twentieth-century sensibility.” Charles Moffett, Director, Philips Collection, 1994, letter of reference
  • “But Zetterstrom isn’t just a rationalist; he is, if that is possible, a romantic rationalist….The interplay between organization and romance gives his work a tension that lifts it to the realm of fine art.” Philip Isaacson, Maine Sunday Telegram, June 9, 1991


  • “With his sculptural intelligence and understanding of light, Zetterstrom does something rare among photographers of trees: he gives them consciousness.” Michael Brenson, former art critic, The New York Times, 1995


  • “…he shares Stieglitz’s impulse….In his “ Portraits of Trees” series, Zetterstrom invests his subjects with metaphoric possibilities, following in the tradition of nature as a repository of correspondences for emotional experience. Daniell Cornell, Yale University Art Gallery, catalogue, 1999


  • “These are not landscapes transferred to paper. The images are an iconography springing from Mr. Zetterstrom’s ardor, which he does nothing to dilute in conversation….both prayerful and pagan.” Robert Dahlin, Litchfield County Times, March 17, 1995


  • “Portraits indeed, these photographs present trees as powerful individual icons onto which we project impressions of personality.” Lee Fleming, The Washington Post, March, 4, 1995


  • “He portrays a wide variety of trees…each like a portraitist depicting an old friend.” Janie Cohen, curator, Robert Hull Fleming Museum, September, 1998


  • “Portraits of American Trees,” and the collection evoke themes of growth and decay, permanence and renewal.” Peter Richards, creative director, Tryon Center for Art, May, 2000


  • “Mr. Zetterstrom has…a gift for somehow remaking what he sees….eye, brain and hand work in concert to make the ordinary extraordinary.” Vivien Raynor, The New York Times, September 6, 1992


  • “Zetterstrom’s technique is sophisticated and compulsive; he controls his images with near-obsessive attention to composition and detail, achieving painterly and etched effects. Steve Starger, Art New England, July, 1996


  • “The show is hypnotic….his photographs look like engravings and etchings.” Joanna Shaw-Eagle, The Washington Times, March 12, 1995


  • “As Connecticut’s most serious and dedicated teach us to value that which we cannot control, a lesson that runs counter to the sum of our daily social existence.” Richard S. Field, curator of photographs, Yale U. Art Gallery, 1996


  • “The commitment you have to the land motivates your choice of subjects and their interpretation. Your black and white photographs inform us in unique ways. Verna Curtis, curator of photographs, The Library of Congress, 1996


  • “Tom Zetterstrom…son of an arborist, longtime student of trees in the landscape, and fine arts photographer…harbors such intense feelings for the American elm that he is dedicating untold hours to preserving it.” Eliot Tozer, Garden Design, November/December 2004

Reviews for Moving Point of View

“Dynamism is the hallmark of Zetterstroms photographs taken while in motion. The streak of movement gives his fascinating pictures the look of activated cinematic stills.”

David L. Shirley, New York Times, December 25, 1977

“…a first-rate photographer from Connecticut. Mr. Zetterstrom’s hallmarks (are) clarity and thoroughness – especially in the series ‘Moving Point of View’ the imagery is sharply etched.”

William Zimmer, New York Times, May 8, 1983

“…these photographs (are) fresh, alive and imbued with lyric beauty,…the persistence and intuition of this photographer produces magical results…superior formal aspects contribute to the potency…”

Hans Levi, St. Louis Post Dispatch, April 15, 1982

“Zetterstrom’s patternmaking transformations are all the more remarkable…. The viewers experience is repeatedly fused to the subject…clearly recalls Pail Strand’s classic of 1916…”

Peter Morrin, Atlanta At Papers, September/October, 1980

“Moving Point of View…consists of images that hurdle by, a mass of streaks and whorls, or that hang as if caught in the middle of a seismic shudder, they are as desolate as any painted Casper David Friedrich.”

Vivian Raynor, New York Times, August 16, 1987

“Zetterstrom uses the still camera in a manner that challenges the sense if reality established by the photographic process…His work is pictorial…in his concern for using other visual sources in a personal way to create a print whose purpose is entirely aesthetic.

Louise E. Shaw, A Century of American Landscape Photography. The High Museum of art 1981

If we imagine that Duchamp had fashioned the machine that could invent such pictures, then Zetterstrom’s art is that machine’s emotional spill. Those photographs express both the thrill and terror of speed; they also portray their subjects as tender and alive. What gives Zetterstroms work its edge is the excitement of these opposing wills, and one senses he is sympathetic to both.

Belinda Rathbone, Moving Point of View, Joan Whitney Payson Gallery of Art, 1988

“Both childlike and ingenious.”

Bob Niss, Portland Evening Express, February 4, 1988

“…striking spectacular…This is photography that has come a ling way fro interpreting nature or telling us a story. It is powerful expression sifted out of almost uncontrolled accident.”

Phillip Isaacson, Maine Sunday Telegram, February 21, 1988

“…a breathtaking exhibition of large format black and white images by Tom Zetterstrom…soft and subtle, ephemeral and vaguely disturbing…”

Edgar Allen Beem, Maine Times February 12, 1988

“Zetterstrom’s command of the camera…is masterful and the 38 black and white prints are very beautiful. They have great power…remarkable and stimulating…

John Kramer, Journal Tribune, February 12, 1988

“Tom Zetterstom’s photographs always attract attention. People stand before his images, not looking at them as much as feeling them.”

Ron Cioffi, New England Journal of Photography, 1981

“… they lingered on my mind like memories and reconnected me to my own experience – which for me is much the purpose of art.”

Mark Power, New Art Examiner, Spring, 1985