Over the past 30 years Ron Tarver has built a successful career in photography. He received a B. A. in Journalism and Graphic Arts from Northeaster State University in Oklahoma. His work has been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Inquirer Sunday Magazine, National Geographic, Life, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and Black and White Magazine. He is co-author of the book We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, published by Harper Collins in 2004, which was accompanied by a traveling exhibition that debuted at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Aside from establishing a successful career in photojournalism, he has built a distinguished career in fine art. Tarver is a 2001 Pew Fellow in the Arts. He has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and a 2007 Independence Foundation Fellowship. He was named one of the Delaware Valley's "50 Rising Stars in the Arts" by Seven Arts Magazine and is a 1999 alumni of the Center For Emerging Visual Artist. He currently serves as visiting instructor of photography at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore PA.

His photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally in over 30 solo and 50 group exhibitions and is included in many private, corporate, and museum collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The State Museum of  Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, Oklahoma Museum of History and the National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. His work is represented by the Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, Robin Rice Gallery, New York, NY, The Packard Reath Gallery in Lewes, Delaware, Soho-Myriad in Atlanta, GA and Grand Image in Seattle, WA.


See news page for a listing of his lastest exhibitions.

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Ron Tarver Resume:
Personal Data, Educations, Gallery Affiliation, Work Experience, Selected One Person Exhibitions, Selected Group Exhibitions, Recent Honors & Awards, Works in Selected Collections, Grants & Fellowships, Selected Bibliography

Personal Data:
Born in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.
Currently lives in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
e-mail: [email protected]

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1979 Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. BA, Journalism and Graphic Arts.
1984 Missouri Photographic Workshop, Forsythe, Missouri.

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Gallery Affiliation:
Sande Webster Gallery, 2018 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA.
Packard Reath Gallery. 222 Market Street, Lewes, DE.
Soho-Myriad, 1250 B Menlo Drive, Atlanta GA.

Robin Rice Gallery, 325W. 11th St., New York, NY

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Work Experience


Swarthmore College, Swarthmore PA Visiting Instructor of Art


Photography Instructor, Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial. Philadelphia, PA.

Photography Instructor, Perkins Center for the Arts. Moorestown, NJ.

Staff Photographer, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, PA.

Founder and Director, PhotoSession photography conference. Philadelphia, PA.

Photography Instructor, Drury College. Springfield, Missouri.

Staff Photographer, The Springfield News and Leader. Springfield, Missouri.

Staff Photographer, The Muskogee Daily Phoenix. Muskogee, Oklahoma.

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Selected Solo Exhibitions:


Invisible, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.


Unstructured, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.


The World in a Grain of Sand, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.

Packard Reath Gallery, Lewes, DE


Havana: A Place out of Time, Silva Gallery of Art, The Pennington School, Pennington, NJ.

Art/Place, Southport Railroad Station. Southport, CT.

What the eye Doesn't See, List Gallery, Swarthmore College.  Swarthmore, PA.


Trees, Sande Webster Gallery. Philadelphia, PA.


Deep Deuce and Beyond, Governor's Art Gallery, Oklahoma State Capital, Oklahoma City, OK.

We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA


Homesteads, Sande Webster Gallery. Philadelphia, PA.

Trees, Awbury Arborteum. Philadelphia, PA.


A Sense of Place, (Installation). Philadelphia International Airport. Philadelphia, PA.

Homesteads, Edward Carter Gallery. Lewes, DE.

Havana: A Place Out of Time, Monique Goldstrom Gallery. New York, NY.


Havana: A Place Out of Time, Sande Webster Gallery. Philadelphia PA. Soho-Myriad. Atlanta, GA.


The Unseen Landmark, Eastern State College, Devon, PA.


Fleisher Exhibition No. 1, Samuel S. Fleisher Memorial. Philadelphia, PA.

A Retrospective, Beaver College. Philadelphia, PA.

The Long Ride Home: the African American Cowboy Experience in America, YWCA of Brooklyn,

Brooklyn, NY.


The Long Ride Home, African American Museum of Dallas. Dallas, TX.


The Long Ride Home, Connoco Gallery. Oklahoma State University. Okmulgee, OK.

Walt Whitman Center for Cultural Arts. Camden, NJ.

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Selected Group Exhibitions:

Divergence, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.


Third Woodmere Triennial of Contemporary Photography, Woodmere Art Museum,

Philadelphia, PA


Emerging to Established, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Pa

Art & the City, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA


 The Kandy Project, Jane & Bert Gallery, Lumeria Gallery, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia,


Viajeros: North American Artist/ Photographers’ Images of Cuba, Lehigh University, (traveling exhibition), Lehigh, PA

Noteworthy, 25 Years of Photography Exhibitions,  Perkins Center fro the Arts,Moorestown, PA


Sande Webster Gallery, “Black and White”


Impregnable Direction, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY.

Photography: Ten Years of Acquisitions, Haverford College, Haverford, PA.

A Pairing of Peers: Artists Invite, Fleisher Art Memorial. Philadelphia, PA.


Havana/Venice: Mirrors of Nostalgia, (two person exhibition). Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia PA.

Queensborough Community College Art Gallery. Bayside, NY.


America the Beautiful, Edward Carter Gallery, Lewes, DE.

Photography 19, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ.

Committed to the Image,  Brooklyn Museum of Art. Brooklyn, NY.

Photo 2001, Monique Goldstrom Gallery, New York, NY.

Network Group Exhibition, Open Space Gallery, Allentown, PA.

Fin de Siecle,  (three person exhibition), Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA.

Recently Acquired Works, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA.

People and Places, Atlantic City Center for the Arts, Atlantic City, NJ.

Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840- Present,

Smithsonian Institution, Anacostia Museum, Washington, DC.


The Discriminating Lens, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA.

Art of the State '99, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, PA.

Photography 17, Perkins Center for the Arts. Moorestown, NJ.

Shutter, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.


Creative Artist Network Group Show, Federal Reserve Bank, Philadelphia, PA.

Photography 16, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ.

20 x 12: A Generation of Challenge Artists, Samuel S. Fleisher Memorial, Philadelphia, PA.

Through the Heart of the City, Philadelphia Art Alliance. Philadelphia, PA.


Photography 15, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ.


Photography: Contemporary Prospect '96, Historic Yellow Springs, Chester Springs, PA.

Hidden in Plain Sight, The Philadelphia Art Alliance. Philadelphia, PA.

National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta, GA.

Penn Charter Arts Festival. Philadelphia, PA.

1993 Photography: Contemporary Prospect '96, Historic Yellow Springs, Chester Springs, PA.

Philadelphia Photographs Philadelphia, Borders Bookstore, Philadelphia, PA.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA.

Eye Witness 93, Exhibition featuring winning photographs from the annual World Press  Photo Awards. Amsterdam, The Netherlands (traveling exhibition)


Photography Without Captions, Community Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA.


Altered States-Alcohol And Other Drugs in America, Strong Museum, Rochester, NY. (traveling exhibition, acquired by the Smithsonian Institution as part of permanent collection)

Visa Pour L. Image International Photojournalism Festival. Perpignan, France

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Recent Honors and Awards:


Ruben V. Burrell Photography Award. Hampton University Museum. Hampton, VA.

Pew Fellowship in the Arts

Margaret Danby Visual Arts Award. Black Liberated Arts Center. Oklahoma City, OK.

Jurors Award and Purchase Award. Perkins Center for the Arts. Moorestown, NJ.
Award of Merit. Society for Publication Design. New York, NY.Award of Excellence.Society for News Design. New York, NY.

Jurors Award and Purchase Award. Perkins Center for the Arts. Moorestown, NJ.

Silver Metal. Society for Publication Design. New York, NY.

Jurors Award and Purchase Award. Perkins Center for the Arts. Moorestown, NJ.One of the 50 Artists to Watch, Seven Arts Magazine. Philadelphia, PA.


Best of Show. Penn Charter Arts Fesitval. Philadelphia, PA.


National Newspaper Magazine Society Award for Documentary Photography

National Society of Professional JournalistNational Press Photographers Association

University of Missouri Pictures of the Year
Associated Press Managing Editors Award

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Works in Selected Collections:
Banana Republic corporate collection, San Francisco, CA
Eastern College, St. David's, PA
Federal Reserve Bank, Philadelphia, PA
Hyatt Hotel, Philadelphia, PA
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Johnson & Johnson corporate collection, Skillman, NJ
Mosby Yearbook, Philadelphia, PA
Pennsylvania State Museum, Harrisburg, PA
Oklahoma State University, Okmulgee, OK
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Public Library, Print and Picture Collection, Philadelphia, PA
Samuel S. Fels Fund, Philadelphia, PA
Schuylkill Printing Facility, Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., Conshohocken, PA
Sheraton Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia, PA
South Jersey Museum of Art and Culture, Somerdale, NJ
Temple University Urban Archives, Philadelphia, PA
William Penn Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
Numerous private collections

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Grants and Fellowships:


Independence Foundation Fellowship


Gap Grant, Pew Fellowships in the Arts                   


National Endowment for the Arts Grant in collaboration with Black Liberated Arts Center,

Oklahoma City, OK


Pew Fellowship in the Arts
2000 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts SOS Grant

Creative Artist Network, Philadelphia PA

National Geographic Magazine, Development Grant for Documentary Photography, Washington, DC

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship

Artist-In-Residence, Children's Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Sickle Cell Camp for Children

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Selected Bibliography:

Philadelphia City Paper, “ The Road Not Taken”, Robin Rice, August 14, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer, “A ‘Divergence’ of photographic nuance”, Victoria Donohoe, August, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer, “Two Toasts to Philadelphia Photography,” Edward J. Sozanski, October 4, 2009

Wilmington News Journal, “Photog’s Work Puts Different Spin on Universe,” Christopher Yasiejko,

Cover Features Section, July 8, 2007

Philadelphia Inquirer, "Swathmore's List Gallery", Victoria Donohoe, October 22, 2006

Art Matters Magazine, The Inquisitive Lens of Ron Tarver, February 2005, p. 9

Co-author of the book " We Were There, Voices of African American Veterans,NewsWeek Magazine,  

The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Searching for Home," Edward J. Sozanski, November, 15, 1996, Weekend Section, p. 41
Art Business News, "African American Art Moves Beyond Black and White", Laura Meyers, January 2003, cover
Art Matters Magazine, "Photography Seen, Ron Tarver's Cuba at Sande Webster, " by Helene Ryesky, August, 2001, Page 20
Philadelphia Weekly, "Island Images", by Roberta Fallon, August 8, 2001
Philadelphia Citypaper, Time Travel, Ron Tarver explores Cuba, new and old, in his exhibit at Sande Webster, August 18, 2001
The New York Times, Up-to-the-minute Show with Echoes of the Past, Sunday
February 14,1999, page 14
The International Review of African American Art, Hampton University Museum, Volume 14, Number 4, page 10, article illustrated with photograph from the Bridge series
The Daily Oklahoma, "Black Cowboy Focus of Fine Photo Exhibit,"
John Brandenburg, Oklahoma City, OK, September 10, 1997
The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Mysterious Paintings and Pictorialist Photos," Edward J. Sozanski, September 12, 1997, Weekend Section, p. 36
The Camden Courier Post, "Past into the Present," February 2, 1997
Living Section, p. 3
Seven Arts Magazine, "50 Rising Stars," February, 1997, p.34
Samuel S. Fels Fund Annual Report, Illustrated with eight works from Drill Team Series, December 31, 1996, Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia Inquirer, "The Truth and Beauty of Ordinary People," Edward J. Sozanski, November, 15, 1996, Weekend Section, p. 40
National Black Arts Festival Exhibition Catalog, Atlanta, GA, July, 1996
The Black Family, Deborah Willis author, Crown Publishing, published 1996
Portfolio 1995, Northeastern State University, "The Search for Cultural Heroes", Dana Eversole, Tahlequah, OK
The Muskogee Daily Phoenix, "A Long Ride Home," October 20, 1994, Muskogee, OK
3 of 4 Basic Media Writing (Fifth Edition), Melvin Mencher author, Brown & Benchmark, published 1994
The Comedian Courier-Post, "Images of the Unsung Cowboys,"
Camden, NJ, October 14, 1994
"Altered States: Alcohol and Other Drugs in America," Patricia M. Tice, Strong Museum, Rochester, NY (exhibition catalog) p. 103
"World Press Photo Yearbook," Thames & Hudson, 1993
News Photographer Magazine, Journal of the National Press Photographers Association, "Documenting Drug Life," Morrella Raleigh, February 21, 2003

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