Mr. Alan K. Teller   
Fulbright-Nehru Project Title: "Following the Box: Exploring an Archive of Anonymous
Photographs from India"
Field of Study: Study of India
Home Institution in US: At-Large, IL
Host Institution in India: Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal  
Start date/Month in India: November 2013
Duration of grant: Four months

Brief Bio:
Mr. Alan Teller is a second-generation photographer who began making pictures as a child. He studied photography at Indiana University while pursuing a PhD in anthropology. After leaving graduate school, Mr. Teller moved to Chicago and founded the Inner-City Photo Workshop, a store-front photography center for high-school drop-outs on Chicago's Westside, one of the city's most distressed neighborhoods. Based on that experience, he directed several government funded photography-in-the-schools projects for the Illinois Arts Council that resulted in the book Photography in the Classroom (available on-line). He and his wife, Jerri Zbiral, started The Collected Image, providing photographs to collectors and museums and appraising photographic collections. Mr. Teller became photographic researcher for the Field Museum of Natural History, responsible for all the historic and contemporary images in the major, permanent Eskimo and Northwest Coast Indian exhibit. At the Field, he also taught classes on photography and anthropology.

Mr. Teller later co-founded Teller Madsen, an award-winning museum exhibit planning and design company that has developed over 100 exhibits nationwide. He also served as executive director of the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy where he developed public programs and, with Teller Madsen, designed a permanent exhibit on the life of the presidential candidate. He has taught photography at Columbia College, Purdue University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at Lake Forest College, where he taught a course on photography and anthropology, as well as several classes on Public History (museums and exhibits.) With Zbiral, Mr. Teller co-produced In the Shadow of Memory: The Legacy of Lidice, an award-winning documentary film about the continuing impact of tragedies, based on the Nazi destruction of a Czech village. His published writings include articles for the Chicago Sun-Times, Journal of the National Association of Museum Exhibitors and Journal of American Photography. He has delivered over 70 presentations on topics including photography and culture, photography and the community, history of photography, the role of the museum in society and exhibit design at universities, conferences, workshops and museums in the US and Canada. He has exhibited his own photography since the 1970s and is represented in both public and private collections internationally. Mr. Teller is a recipient of a 2012 Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist's Grant.

Mr. Teller's Fulbright project aims to address the mystery of a collection of photographs from India made in 1945 by an unknown US soldier and to create new art works inspired by these portraits, temples and ethnographic studies. Collaborating with Jerri Zbiral, he hopes to locate featured sites; develop partnerships with Indian artists and institutions; encourage mutual understanding through discussions on heritage, development and representation; make both new and old work available; create an on-line exhibit and related lectures both in India and the US; and work towards a traveling exhibit and catalogue.