Cameron, Julia M.
Coburn, Alvin L.
Talbot,William H. Fox
Fine Art, Landscape
Biography: Minor White was an American photographer, educator,
poet and a critic. He was recognized for this intense commitment
of photography and his vision. Minor White was a textural photographer.
Textural photographs are pictures of items such as a bush, a tree,
cracks in the road, or even a rusted up car.
Minor White was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1908. He studied
botany at the University of Minnesota and worked for a few years
on odd jobs before he started concentrating on photography. He
worked as a photographer for the Works Progress Administration
in Oregon from 1938 to 1939. From 1942 to 1945 he served as an
infantryman in the Philippines. In 1945, White did his studies
with Edward Weston, which was extremely intense due to the tonal
beauty of his photographs. He then proceeded to work on a tenure
with Alfred Steiglitz. It was at this time when White's photographs
began to reflect on spiritual issues, including Roman Catholicism,
Zen Buddhism, and mysticism.White believed that taking photographs
and examining photographs was a spiritual act.
In 1945, White moved to New York City, where he studied at the
University of Columbia. In 1946 he was united with the faculty
of the California School of Fine arts where he worked as an assistant
to Ansel Adams. While working with Adams, White co-founded the
magazine 'Aperture' with Adams, Lange, and Beaumont and
Newhall. White eventually succeeded Adams and became the Director
of the California School of Fine Arts. From 1953 through 1965,
White worked at the Eastman House and taught at the Rochester
Institute of Photography. White edited much of Aperture during
these years and much of his significant work was produced during
this period, including "Windowsill." In 1965, White
became professor of photography at the Massachussets Institute
of Technology (MIT), where he served until 1976 when he passed
White's nature studies are so devotedly observed abstractions.
However, to the male nude figure study, he brought a lyrical passion,
and unmatched eroticism. White's writings emphasized and promoted
his ideas as in Mirrors, Messages, and Manifestation. Undoubtedly,
Minor White's work in photography altered the medium forever.
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