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Tom Crane graduated from George Washington University in 1965 with a BA degree in American Studies. From college he went directly into the Peace Corps. Like all Peace Corps volunteers, he carried a camera, and quickly became interested in photographing the architectural designs of the villages he passed through. The patterns and designs worked into the mud were very elaborate. Rainfall in the northern regions of Nigeria is very slight, and these designs could last for years.
He returned home in January of 1967 with a portfolio of work from Nigeria that helped him get an apprenticeship with Ezra Stoller. At that time Ezra was at the peak of his career as the “grandfather of architectural photography.”
In 1969 he became Hans Namuth’s studio manager. Hans specialized in interior photography. Most of his work appeared in shelter magazines such as House Beautiful.
In 1971 Tom moved to Philadelphia and began his own practice in architectural and interior photography. Tom rescued an old barn in Bryn Mawr in 1982 and converted it into his studio, office and residence. The large shooting space allowed him to add photography of contract furniture systems to his specialty.
In addition to being published in virtually every major shelter magazine, his architectural work has been featured in books, such as Cultural Connections(1991), and he is the sole photographer for Historic Houses of Philadelphia(1998), and Sacred Places of Philadelphia(2004).
A third book called Landmarks of Philadelphia will complete the trilogy and is due out in 2007.