Wilton Tifft (1941-2015) was a Veteran of the US Marine Corps. Wilton S. Tifft was raised in Elmira, NY and attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn (Class of 1965). He served apprenticeships with noted photographers Arnold Newman and Paulus Leeser, later setting up his own studio loft in New York City’s Chelsea area.
Mr. Tifft’s principal work is in architectural, interior, and documentary photography. He has published three books. His most recent, published in September 1990, is a historical documentary entitled Ellis Island which has been granted the official seal from the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and includes an introduction by Lee Iacocca. His work has received prestigious recognition, including the New York City Art Directors Club Award, the Publication Designers Award and the Lowell Thomas Journalism Award.
Mr. Tifft’s images are in many galleries and private collections and appear as wall murals in the Smithsonian Institution. Six of his images are murals in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum on the newly restored Ellis Island in New York Harbor. His painstaking portrayls of Ellis Island span more than three decades, from the abandoned state through renovation and restoration to the completed memorial of today.
After Ellis Island, Mr. Tifft has been working in cooperation with the National Park Service documenting the formation and development of Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA and several of his photographs are wall murals on display in the museum there.
Over a period of five years, he documented the Ukrainian nation and its people in the aftermath of the collapse of the former Soviet Union. His work in Ukraine was featured as an American Embassy photographic exhibition which toured throughout Ukraine for two years. His work in Ukraine has been the subject of five separate documentary television films which have been aired throughout Ukraine and Europe.
Among his photographic credits are Time-life Books, the B.B.C., American Heritage, Americana Magazine, Psychology Today, Travel Holiday Magazine, Archaeology Magazine, and The New York Times to mention a few.