PhillyFolk Artists

Thomas B. Morton


Born and raised in West and Northwest Philadelphia, Thomas Morton is a local photographer. Through the formal study of photography, language, linguistics, and travel, he pursues his interests in culture and African Diasporan experiences and expressions. Tom served five years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Panama and the Dominican Republic. He has done extensive field research and taught Spanish for Community College of Philadelphia. He also served for over two decades as an inter-group conflict intervention and resolution specialist and as a neighborhood disputes mediation specialist for the City of Philadelphia.

Tom was a founding member of the African American Photographers Forum of Philadelphia and a board member of Taller Puertorriqueño during their early years. He studied for his doctoral degree in Sociolinguistics in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Tom holds an M.A. in Contemporary Spanish American Literature and Spanish Linguistics from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Temple University,and a BFA in Graphic Design/Printmaking (with a minor in Photography) from Tyler School of Art of Temple University.

Tom’s work has been featured at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and in numerous collaborations with the Folklore Project, beginning with Folk Arts in City Hall exhibitions in 1990-91, and continuing through exhibitions on Cambodian and African American folklife, and on community cultural expressions in Philadelphia. On this website, visit his shows We Shall Not be Moved: 30 Years of ODUNDE (on exhibition at the PFP’s new home through February 2006), You, Me, and Them (currently on display at FACTS, the Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School), Giants, Kings and Celestial Angels, and Artists in Exile.