Robert Langham lives in Tyler, Texas in the same brick-street neighborhood where he was raised. Until recently, he worked in the same darkroom at The Tyler Junior College where he has taught for 40 years. As an assistant at the Ansel Adams studios in Yosemite, Langham honed his skill at interpreting landscape imagery as expressed in his Shiprock, New Mexico images. Though he teaches digital photography and the use of Photoshop, which he uses for commercial work, his personal artwork is done on film, using large format cameras and a traditional wet darkroom.

 

Langham is a naturalist and environmentalist. His hometown Tyler is in the Blackfork Creek watershed, high in the Neches River drainage. His Blackfork Bestiary series (a bestiary is an ancient scientific catalog of animals) is a portfolio of live animals and insects from this Blackfork Creek ecosystem; the works are photographed in a very non-traditional manner and composition. All of the critters (from black-widow spiders and poisonous snakes to possums and frogs) are then safely released back into nature. Langham is unafraid to experiment with staging non-traditional photographic subjects. In his still-life work Magic & Logic, he creates what he refers to as a “kinetic still life.” He reinterprets what we think of as a traditional still life work with movement and fiction done in camera without post-processing trickery. Magic & Logic reflects how he worships the mystery of dreams and ideas that find their way into a tangible creation. His work is in several museums: The Harry Ransom Center, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Museum of Southeast Texas at Beaumont. In 2022, Langham received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in photography.

 

Langham's work is deeply rooted in a sense of place, reaching deep into the Texan psyche to explore the whimsy and endless possibilities that the open expanses of the Southwestern landscape have inspired, and continue to inspire, within the imagination.