Tom Harding

  • Wednesday June 1, 2016
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October 12, 1937 �" May 25, 2016

After a long battle with prostate cancer, Tom Harding died peacefully in the apartment of his beloved Allen Sawyer on May 25, 2016. At his side were Sawyer and Sawyer's partner, Jim Van Buskirk.

A Renaissance man, Tom was a visual artist and musician. In the 1960s and 1970s Tom worked as a photographer in New York, most notably chronicling Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company. He also played piano and performed in off-off-Broadway shows like the Palm Casino Revue . In San Francisco, Tom played the piano at the Valencia Rose and photographed the city's 1980s demi-monde. Tom loved the Art Deco Society, and dancing to the music of the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra and the Peter Mintun Orchestra. His many dance partners appreciated his dapper style and his ability to make them feel like Ginger Rogers. His friends and family cherished his witty hand-drawn greeting cards. In addition to his own creativity was his gift of encouraging the artistic endeavors of his friends.

Tom was born in Portland, Oregon, and studied at Stanford and Columbia. Over the last several decades, Tom divided time between Portland and his adored San Francisco. Celebrations of his life will be held in both cities.