Shaun O’Boyle

Current Fellow

Fellow: Awarded 2017

Field of Study: Photography

Competition: US & Canada


Shaun O’Boyle studied architecture at Parsons School of Design and has worked both as a photographer and in the architecture/design field for the past 30 years. Formative experiences include working with his father who was a master carpenter, and at a shipbuilding yard on the Mississippi River between high school and college. He has traveled and photographed on all seven continents and has shown work in galleries in Boston and the Berkshires in MA. His work has appeared in various publications and books including Lenswork, Next City and Exit. His book Modern Ruins, Portraits of Place in the Mid-Atlantic Region was published in 2009 by Penn State University Press, and he has designed and self-published eight books of his photographs.

Photographing regions where human culture and history have shaped a unique architecture, infrastructure and landscape is a driving force behind this work. From October-December 2015 Shaun participated in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers program where he photographed the built environment of Antarctica, concentrating on how architecture has shaped place on the vast landscapes of Antarctica. It is a study of architecture as shelter and scientific instrument, and as container of memory on a continent almost devoid of human history.

Understanding these places and narratives offer a framework for gauging the rapid changes occurring to the environment in these regions. Work on this project will continue with the NSF in other parts of Antarctica, and, through the Guggenheim Fellowship, in regions of the Arctic. The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA, and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum are exhibiting this work.

Photograph: Shaun O'Boyle, Cape Crozier, Antarctica, 2015