Charles Swedlund (1935- ) was born and raised in Chicago, and attended Lane Tech High School. He developed an interest in lenses and film after receiving an 8mm movie camera for his 16th birthday, and soon after he acquired a still camera. Before long he had a basement darkroom. Swedlund was accepted by the Institute of Design out of high school and began classes in the fall of 1953 after working during the summer in a commercial photography studio. Swedlund soon embraced the ID as “an incredible awakening” and he acquired both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in photography from the Institute of Design in 1958 and 1961 respectively. His master’s thesis, was “The Search for Form: Photographical Experiments with the Human Figure”. As a student he had the fortunate timing to not only engage the now fabled Callahan/Siskind teaching team, but to find himself a core member of a small group at the I.D., whose members would go on to prominence as innovative and successful photographers and teachers, including Ray Metzker and Kenneth Josephson. Swedlund too, had an ambition to teach, and after receiving his graduate degree, he held a number of part-time teaching positions in Chicago. Then in 1963, Oscar Bailey brought Swedlund to the State University College in Buffalo, New York. A highly productive six years followed with the teaching partners encouraging each other professionally and artistically. In 1969, Swedlund returned to the I.D. to teach for two years. He also worked in illustrative and advertising photography and was hired to document many art collections in the city. In 1971, he took a position at Southern Illinois University, where he remained until his retirement in 2000.