Remembering Jonathan Goell, by Russ Fortier

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Jonathan Goell

From Russ Fortier:

Chris (Wenger) Goell texted me yesterday to tell me that Jonathan Goell died on September 7th. According to Chris, Jon had been in hospice, at home, and died quietly and peacefully.

Some might remember Jon as the host of The Photo Show, a WGBH show that premiered in 1978 and was produced by Michael Rice and Bonnie Hammer. I was the director.

As the show’s talent, Jon was not only a highly skilled photographer; he was also a true artist with a genuine enthusiasm for sharing his vast knowledge of the medium.  After the show, he went on to teach photography and became a professor at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland.

In addition to photography, Jon could draw really well, knew a few magic tricks, tap danced and was a sharp, humorous conversationalist.

In all the time I knew him in Boston, he was never without a camera; his tag line for the series was “Take your camera everywhere because that’s where the pictures are.”

When Chris and Jon visited Cornelia and me in Westport in 2015, he generously gave me one of his photographs. It hangs over my desk, a constant reminder of a gifted friend.

Russ Fortier, Chris, Jon Goell


  1. Bruce Ours on June 29, 2024 at 7:43 pm

    I am sad to learn that Jon passed away last August. I had the first digital class for a certificate from him in the Spring of 2007. He did a wonderful job teaching photography.

  2. Waldyr on May 14, 2024 at 7:57 pm

    Jon was one of my professors in the early 2000s at Montgomery College. A class that started as an (expensive) elective, turned into a passion. I took 2 more classes with him after that. One I audited just because I wanted to take another class with the best professor in the department. The love for Hollywood Portraits from the 30s-50s that I have, came straight from him. Behind me right now I have 3 books with George Hurrell’s Photos. Two of them were books that he had shown us in class, It took me a few years but I tracked them down. Though it saddens me to hear of his passing, I’m glad that he is being honored. He was by far the best professor I ever had, and I’m sure he is dearly missed by many.

  3. Frank Siteman on December 10, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    Jon was one of my oldest and closest friends and will be missed. He excelled at so many things: drawing, sculpture, tap, photography (of course), magic, teaching, and being a friend. I still have the wonderful pen & ink he did of me sleeping somewhere, drawn on the back of a paper (clean) plate. So many memories. I miss his voice. I will always miss him.

  4. Jerik Tornheim on September 14, 2023 at 4:37 pm

    I worked at ‘GBH in the Traffic Dept from 1976 to 1980. When I married my wife Bobbi also in 1980 (no connection between the two events), both Jon and Chris came to our small wedding (40 people) at our house in Arlington. Jon took our wedding pictures. Other fellow employees present for the event were my sister-in-law Susan, and engineers Carol Hugentugler and Doug Devitt.

  5. Fred Barzyk on September 14, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    Wonderful remembrance!!!! So glad to hear hosts of TV shows were actually friends, friends who enjoyed each other and shared their life with the WGBH crews. Truly a great time in the history of WGBH.

  6. Eric 'Bucky' Chappell on September 14, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    Jon was my Editorial Photography teacher at the New England School of Photography in Boston the year I graduated in 1989. He gladly shared his talent and professionalism with good cheer, and I hope it stuck. I assisted him freelance a few times before he sadly left Boston for Baltimore. He was a lovely, creative addition to the world.

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