RIP: Providence Journal Photographer Bob Thayer

His shot of Oscar de la Renta earned a World Press Photo award.

For 37 years, Bob Thayer filled the pages of the Providence Journal with his distinctive shots. But this week, that long run came to a sudden end. On Wednesday, Thayer called in sick to work and on Thursday, after he failed to report to the office, a city rescue team was dispatched to his home, where he was found unresponsive. Thayer was 63.

One of Thayer’s signature shots was taken in 1995 at a fashion show in New York. The image of Oscar de la Renta peeking from the sidelines as a model strode down the runway won the 1995 World Press Photo award for Arts and Entertainment. From the Journal obituary:

“I was getting bored with the fashion, and I was looking for something different,” said Thayer. De la Renta “looked out for a fraction of a second, and I focused on him instead of the model.”

Although the picture was shot on color film, Thayer printed it in black and white because it allowed him to “use the fewest visual elements to make a point.”

Thayer, who earned his Master’s in Journalism from Columbia in 1975 and worked for three years at the Norwich Bulletin, is being warmly remembered by readers and colleagues in the article comments and on social media. Another wonderfully composed shot by Thayer earned him honorable Arts and Entertainment mention from the World Press Photo awards in 1991. RIP.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: November 7, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT