Chip Cooper: Biography / Resume and YouTube Videos

"Most of my career has been devoted to photographing a sense of place.

Through the numerous shows and photography books I have done, I have tried to define the South.

I have used landscapes, details, and abstracts, as well as people, to help tell the story. I have just completed a book, Habana Vieja, about Old Havana, Cuba.

Through that process, I discovered that Walker Evans, before he did his famous Alabama work, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, photographed in Havana, developing his style for defining sense of place.

He has been an inspiration for much of my work."



Chip Cooper was the former Director of Photography for the University of Alabama for 33 years and is now artist in residence in the Honors College, as well as a faculty member in Arts & Sciences.

He received his BA from the University in 1972, followed by post-graduate work in photography.

While working for the University of Alabama, he published the following books: Hunting: The Southern Tradition, Taylor Publishing, Dallas Texas; Alabama Memories, WH Smith, New York City; Silent in the Land & Common Threads, CKM Press, Tuscaloosa Alabama, Crimson: The University of Alabama, Booksmith Group, Nashville Tennessee}; and, most recently, Charlie Lucas, The Tin Man, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa Alabama.

He recently had a photography exhibition in Havana, Cuba, and one in Alabama with Cuban photographer Nestor Marti entitled "Side by Side." They are finishing a book entitled Habana Veija, (Translation: Old Havana) to be published by Alabama Press in February 2012.

Cooper won an award of excellence for his book, Silent in the Land, from Communication Arts Magazine, and is a past recipient of an Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. He has shown his work nationally and internationally, and his work is in many museums, and private and corporate collections.

Chip Cooper Resume







  • B.A. University of Alabama, 1972, political science with history minor. Post graduate work in photography, 1972-1973, University of Alabama Art department.





  • Horizon Magazine, Antique Monthly, Antiques & Fine Arts Magazine, Newsweek, Village Voice, USA Today, Modern Maturity, Northeast Orient Magazine, Alabama Heritage, Sophisticated Traveler – The New York Times, Mercedes International, Veranda, and Southern Accents


  • Habana Vieja: Old Havana (2012 - University of Alabama Press)
  • The Tin Man – Charlie Lucas (2009 - University of Alabama Press)
  • Crimson The University of Alabama (2007-The Booksmith Group)
  • Southampton Review ( 2007) Contributing Photographer
  • Common Threads (CKM Press, 1999) Photographs and stories from the south – Photographs by Chip Cooper, Stories by Kathryn Tucker Windham
  • Silent in the Land (CKM Press, 1993) Photographs by Chip Cooper
  •  Reflections of the South (W.H. Smith, New York and London, 1991, Contributing Photographer)
  • Alabama Memories (W.H. Smith, New York and London, 1989, Photographs by Chip Cooper)
  •  Alabama, The Great Surprise, Pictorial view of Alabama (State of Alabama, 1988, Contributing Photographer)
  • Hunting: The Southern Tradition, Text by May Lamar and Rich Donnell; photographs by Chip Cooper (Taylor Publishing, Dallas, Texas, 1987)
  • Mine, Mill and Microchip: A Chronicle of Alabama Enterprise, By Wayne Flynt (Windsor Publications, Northridge, California, 1987, Contributing Photographer)
  • The Alabama Catalog: Historic American Buildings Survey, By Robert Gamble, (University of Alabama Press, 1983). Served as Director of Photography for the project.
  • Past Horizons A book of Architecture about Tuscaloosa County (University of Alabama Press, 1979) Photographs by Chip Cooper


  • 1993 Fellowship recipient from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.



  • Award of Excellence, Book Series 1994, Communication Arts Magazine. Selected for the inclusion in Communications Arts 1994 Photography Annual and the 1994 Print Magazine Regional Design Annual.
  • 75 national and state awards for University of Alabama related photography; awards designed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for superior work.
  • 25 awards, through the University Press Photographers Association(UPPA).
  • 25 ADDYs awarded by Birmingham and Tuscaloosa Advertising Federation.
  • 2 state awards through Birmingham, Alabama Arts group.
  • Photographs are held in many private, corporate, and museum collections.


  • National Public Radio - Morning Edition: “An Unlikely Pair: Pictures Havana,” Chip Cooper & Nestor Marti Photographers [2011]
  • “Side by Side” Una visión amorosa de Cuba y La Habana  (2009)
  • Alabama Public Radio: Featuring “Chip Cooper, Southern Photographer” on a segment of “All things Considered.”
  • One of two photographers featured in February 1987, PBS Documentary, “Captured: Chip Cooper, Spider Martin, Photographers” produced for Alabama Public Television and aired state-wide.


  •  Celebrating Contemporary Art in Alabama: The Biennial 2011, The Johnson Center for the Arts, Troy, Al 2011.
  • TKAM 2010: To Kill a Mockingbird, Awakening America's Conscience, Stonehenge Gallery Montogomery, AL.
  • TKAM 2010: To Kill a Mockingbird, Awakening America's Conscience, Birmingham Civil Rights Museum, Birmingham, AL.
  • “SIDE by SIDE,” Smith Hall Gallery, University of Alabama 2010.
  • “Havana Cuba” Patina Gallery, Fairhope, Alabama 2009.
  • “Side by Side, Julio Larramende Gallery, Havana, Cuba 2009.
  • “The Writers of Southampton," Kentuck Gallery, Tuscaloosa , Al. 2008.
  • “Year Of Art,” Alabama State Council of The Arts, Montgomery, AL, 2007.                                
  • “ Alabama Art,” Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Al 2006. 
  • “ Alabama Art,” Water Street Gallery, NYC, NY 2005.
  • “ South Of The Hamptons,” The Avram Gallery, Southampton, NY 2003.
  • “Images From Common Threads,” Birmingham Gallery, Birmingham, AL 2000.
  • “Alabama Art 2000,” Nall Museum of Art, Vence, France 2000.   
  • “Alabama Artists,” Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, AL 2000.
  • “Alabama Array," Alabama Artists Gallery, Montgomery, AL. 2000.
  • “Eclectic Pieces & Symbols,” Hoover Art Museum, Hoover, AL. 1998.   
  • “New Work,” Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, GA 1997.
  • “The South and its Photographers,” Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC. 1997
  • “The South by its Photographers,” Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL 1996.
  • “Elton John Aids Benefit,” Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA 1996.
  • “Alabama Artists,” Cousin Twin Dreamers Gallery, Captiva, FL 1996.
  • “On Common Ground,” Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville AL 1995.
  • “Alabama Impact,” Contemporary Artists with Alabama Ties, Huntsville Museum of Art, 1995.
  • “Alabama Impact,” Contemporary Artists with Alabama Ties, Mobile Museum of Art, 1995.
  • “Silent in the Land,” Ferguson Gallery, University of Alabama, 1994.
  • “Mighty Fortress,” Huntsville Museum of Art, 1994.
  • “Thirty Something,” A 30th Celebration Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, Al, 1994.
  • “Silent in the Land,” U.S. Capitol Gallery, Washington D.C., 1994.
  • “Silent in the Land,” Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, 1994.
  • “Photography,” Holland Smith Gallery, Huntsville, Alabama, 1994.                      
  • “Silent in the Land,” The State Capital, Montgomery, Alabama, 1993.
  • “Art Forms and Messages,” The Partnership Gallery, Montgomery, Alabama, 1993.
  • “Encounters 19: Chip Cooper,” Huntsville Museum of Art, 1992.
  • “Alabama Memories,” Intituto Guatemala Americano, Peten, Guatemala, 1991.
  • “Alabama Memories,” Instituto Guatemala Americano, Huehue, Guatemala, 1991.
  • “Alabama Memories,” Instituto Guatemala Americano, Antiqua, Guatemala, 1991.
  • “Alabama Memories,” Instituto Guatemala Americano, Coban, Guatemala, 1991.   
  • “Alabama Memories,” Instituto Guatemala Americano, Zacapa, Guatemala, 1991.
  • “Alabama Memories,” Instituto Guatemala Americano, Teculuta, Guatemala, 1991.
  • “Alabama Memories,” Instituto Guatemala Americano, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 1991.
  • “Alabama Memories," Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano, San Jose, Costa Rica, 1991.
  • “Black and White and Color,” by Chris Heard and Chip Cooper, Center for Cultural Arts of Gadsden, Gadsden, Alabama, 1990.
  • “In View of Home, Alabama Landscape Photographs,” Mobile, Alabama, 1989.
  • “Alabama Landscape Photographs,” Anniston Museum of Art, Anniston, Alabama, 1989.
  • “Images- Chip Cooper,” Bank of Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1989.
  • “Alabama Landscapes,” Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, Alabama, 1989
  • “Alabama Landscape Photographs,” Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama, 1989.
  • “Corporate Art,” Kentuck Museum, Northport, Alabama 1989.
  • “Crossroads,”,the J.R. Leigh Gallery, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1989.
  • “Images,” Independent Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama, 1986.
  • “Seven Artists of Alabama,” The Junior League Gallery, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1984.Junior
  • League Art Gallery, Bama Theatre, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 1984.



  • 2008: Artist in Residence Honors College.
  • 1989 - 2008: Adjunct Professor, Department of Art – Photography, University of Alabama, Director of Photography.
  • 1984 - Present: Artist – Chip Cooper Photographer, Specializing in photographs for books and museum shows.
  • 1982 - Present - Freelance photography - Specializing in still life, industrial, and artistic problem solving photography.
  • 1976 - 2010 - Director of Photography, University Relations, University of Alabama. Responsible for all News and Publications Photography.
  • 1973 - 1976 - Bryce Hospital, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Responsible for Publications and Photography for Alabama’s state mental institution.
  • 1972 - 1973 - Birmingham Post Herald, Stringer for Tuscaloosa area, with writing and
  • photography responsibilities.
  • University of Alabama, Photographer in VISTA Program.

Chip Cooper - Thoughts on Photography and Art

Listen to a National Public Radio story about Chip Cooper's latest book project with Cuban Journalist Nestor Marti.

See article from Habana Radio website about the project.

Scroll down for Bio / Resume & YouTube Videos of Chip Cooper
Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, says about Cooper, “You are a very great American photographer plus Georgia O’ Keeffe rolled into one. O’Keeffe, because you have her eye. You paint with film.”