Location: Bowdoin / Michael J. Kolster

Visual Arts

Michael Kolster

Associate Professor of Art
Chair of Art Department;  Director of Visual Arts Division


Contact Information

Visual Arts

Edwards Center for Art & Dance - 231

Current teaching schedule available on the public course finder.


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Michael Kolster, a 2013 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, teaches at Bowdoin College and lives in Maine with his wife, Christy Shake, and son, Calvin.  He is currently producing ambrotypes for a project comparing Maine’s Androscoggin River with other American post-industrial rivers.  When not able to shoot outdoors, he works in the studio on a series of still lifes of everyday objects with the wet plate process.

Since July, 2012, he has mounted solo exhibitions at Schroeder Romero & Shredder Gallery in New York City; the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Maine; Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, VA; 621 Gallery in Tallahassee, FL; the College of Southern Maryland; SRO Gallery at Texas Tech in Lubbock; andSpace Gallery in Portland, Maine. Loupe, the Journal of the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University and Memorious published portfolios of his river photographs this year. 

An earlier project similarly concerned with land use policy and its implications, entitled Changing Places, depicted changes in Las Vegas, San Francisco and New Orleans over a 10-year time span.  In 2009 a 23-image portfolio from Changing Places was acquired for the permanent collection of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography in Rochester, NY.  Work from the same series was featured in Consilience - The Journal of Sustainability, published through Columbia University.  

For over ten years Michael has maintained a website, The Daily Post, to which he posts a photograph each day (http://DailyPost.bowdoin.edu). 

He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has lived in Rochester, New York; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Boston, Massachusetts; and San Francisco, California.  He holds a BA in American Studies from Williams College, an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, and a certificate from the full-time Documentary Photography program at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Current and Recent Projects


  • 1992     Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MFA photography
  • 1989     International Center of Photography, NYC, Documentary Certificate
  • 1985     Williams College, Williamstown, Mass, BA, American Studies

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