Tom Fels has been for many years an independent curator and writer specialising in American culture, photography, and art. He has worked as consultant and guest curator to a number of museums, including the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the J. Paul Getty Museum. In 1986 he was named a Chester Dale Fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in 1998-9 a Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow of the Huntington Library. Of the more than fifty exhibitions he has organised, his Carleton Watkins: Western Landscape and the Classical Vision was presented at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu in 1990, and Fire and Ice: Treasures from the Photograph Collection of Frederic Church at Olana at the van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, in 2002. He is the author of numerous catalogues, articles, and books, including Sotheby's Guide to Photographs, Henry Holt, 1998.
Fels began showing his recent art in the Northeast in 2013, and in Europe and the UK in 2015. His large cyanotypes are represented in museum and private collections, including the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. One of his large Catalpa Series triptychs was sold at Christie’s London in 2016, and a large Arbor Series diptych in 2018. A large Catalpa Series print is illustrated in the recent edition of New Dimensions in Photo Processes by Laura Blacklow, Routledge, 2017.
Fels lives and works in southern Vermont, USA.