Tom Palumbo (1921–2008) was an American photographer and theatre director. He was born in Molfetta, Italy, in 1921. His family moved when he was about 12 years old to New York City. As a young man Palumbo was employed first building scale models for ships in an engineering company. Later he was employed as an assistant by photographer James Abbe. His experience working with Abbe led him to commercial work in fashion photography.

His early campaign work for Peck & Peck Department Store appeared in Vogue and Bazaar magazines from 1949 to 1953.

He was a staff photographer of Vogue from 1959 until 1962 and at Harper's Bazaar from 1953 until 1959, where he worked with the art directors Alex Liberman and Alexey Brodovitch. He was a vice-president of creative productions at Ted Bates, where he oversaw all TV commercials.

He was a life-long member of the Actors Studio. He taught photography at Rhode Island School of Design, and he taught directing at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He directed plays Off-Broadway and in regional theatres. His last production was An Evening of Proust at Lincoln Center. He was a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Tom Palumbo was married to Patricia Bosworth. He died in October 2008.

Please contact me through my website for any image requests, I do not check flickr email regularly.

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Testimonials (4)

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    (Eric Rose) says:

    "Such a fascinating photostream. Tom is a true inspiration. I'm moved."

    June 22nd, 2008

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    momentous connection says:

    "I discovered by coincidence, this site and immediately I found a world that I knew, little girl with my mother. She was very nice and followed the fashion, and as it was a beautiful woman, while he was going. On this site, I found this world a half tint, sophisticated and discreet, the "good taste" after all. I love to come and take a tour, the pictures are very beautiful and tell without any show in a world disappeared, strangely I think of William Somerset Maugham.(The Razor's Edge)
    In short I love the job full sensitivity tompalumbo"

    June 15th, 2008

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    astridav says:

    "Most people don't know too much about Tom because he went into advertising in the mid 1960's. Then later he folllowed an interest that originally had ealier led him to become a member of the Actors Studio, he directed theatre.

    Theatre makes sense because when you look at a lot of his contact sheets you can see his mind at work, these are stage sets, the models are actors, and the play is about finding the perfect frame."

    June 6th, 2008

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    *wonderbred* says:

    "After going through 14 or 15 thousand negatives so far what you see here in Tom's flickr is really the tip of a mighty iceberg. There is much more to come.

    Of note are his Miles Davis images which were found in the cache of negatives from 1953-1956. They had never been printed before and although they did finally appear in the first issue publication of a magazine called MOVIES ROCK in November 2007, we're not sure that many people noticed.

    The Miles Davis are remarkable because they show Miles laughing and smiling, something he never seems to have done later.

    Perhaps the reason the negatives were not printed at the time was that Tom knew that Miles would not have liked these pictures which most definitely conflicted with that 'cool guy' persona that we see in most images of him.

    Either way, its a fascinating time capsule..."

    January 15th, 2008

Tom Palumbo
January 2008
Molfetta, Italy
New York, NY, USA
I am:
Male and Taken
Photographer & Director of Theatre