Combining artistic sensibility and creativity with scientific training and curiosity has made Mark C. Klett, St. Lawrence Class of 1974, a leading contemporary voice about the relationship between the human condition and the Earth’s condition.
Best known as a landscape photographer, Mark Klett majored in geology and was the first student in that discipline at St. Lawrence to prepare a senior thesis; his topic was “On the Confluence of Science and Art.” After graduating with Phi Beta Kappa honors, he worked in the field of geologic mapping while earning his Master of Fine Arts degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo and launching his career in the arts. His first book, Second View: Rephotographic Survey Project, examined the sights, techniques and artistic intentions of early landscape photographers of the American West, and brought Klett national acclaim. Critics have recognized that Klett’s sense of landscape, informed by his knowledge of geologic origins and of historical photography have prompted his biographer to suggest Klett is the successor to Ansel Adams. Klett’s innumerable exhibitions and seven books have commanded critical and popular recognition.
Klett is not satisfied with merely creating art; he holds the prestigious position of Regents Professor at Arizona State University. His colleagues describe his teaching as “infectious with enthusiasm, inspiring, exciting, rigorous, and uncompromising.” Scientist, artist educator, a person of conscience, creativity and concern: Mark Klett personifies the ideals of the liberal arts and his alma mater is deeply proud to offer him the degree Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.