With his formative years spent along the banks of the Platte River hunting and fishing, Thomas D. Mangelsen's understanding of the natural world stems from a childhood rich in outdoor adventures. Tom grew up exploring the Nebraska landscape with his brothers Bill, David, and Hal, many times at their father Harold's side. Handcrafting his first frames with David in their garage, Tom bucked convention of what was traditionally considered "art" and opened his first gallery in Jackson, Wyoming in 1978, featuring signed, limited edition prints in the tradition of wildlife artists such as Owen Gromme, an early mentor.
Garnering attention from early collectors led to more exhibitions; his work is now offered in several Mangelsen—Images of Nature Galleries across the United States. Tom's accolades and critical acclaim range from being named BBC's "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" in 1994 and the North American Nature Photographer's "Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year" in 2000, to the recipient of a Royal Photographic Society Honorary Fellowship in 2002. In 2005, he was named "One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography" by American Photo magazine, one of only two wildlife-environmental photographers selected for the list.
Tom's photography has also been published in leading magazines such as Audubon, National Geographic, Life, Wildlife Art and National Wildlife and featured on television programs from The Today Show and Good Morning America, to CNN's World News and ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
Twenty books for children and young adults have been illustrated with Tom's photography. Published fine art books include "Images of Nature: The Photography of Thomas D. Mangelsen" (now in its twelfth printing); "Polar Dance: Born of the North Wind" (recipient of the American Booksellers Association's 1998 Best of Small Press Award, and a "Holiday Pick" on Good Morning America); and "Spirit of the Rockies: The Mountain Lions of Jackson Hole," the first and only portrayal of cougars in the wild. In 2007, Tom released his fourth fine art book, "The Natural World," based exclusively on his work in the panoramic format.