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Light Gallery archive

Identifier: AG 194

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into six series: Artist Files, Staff Files, Business Files, Second LIGHT and LIGHT LA Files, Memorabilia, and Photographic Materials. Each series is subsequently divided into sub-series. The series Artist Files contains records of artist represented and sold at LIGHT including correspondence, invoices inventories, and exhibitions information. The Staff Files series documents members of the staff and directors of LIGHT. Although there is series devoted solely to Business Records, records dealing with financial and business activity can also be found within this series especially within the Fern Schad and Tennyson Schad sub-series. Within the business series records documenting LIGHT’s, finances, accounting, banking, sales, and taxes can be found. In the series LIGHT L.A. and Second LIGHT documents pertaining to business, sales, and artists’ handled by these galleries can be fournd. In the series Memorabilia oversized artifacts such as newspaper clippings, exhibition posters, signs, and gallery seals can be found. Within Photographic Materials oversized negatives, prints, and pieces of art can be found.

During processing brackets where placed around folder titles given by the processor, whenever possible folder titles remained unchanged. Box 32 Folder 24, and Box 33, Folders 1-4 are restricted due to the nature of the contents, if access to these sections of the collection is needed please contact the archivist.


  • 1935-2012


Language of Materials

Material in English

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Personnel files (Box 32, Folders 24-25 and Box 33, Folders 1-4) are closed to research. Please contact an archivist for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright owner (which could be the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates or literary executors) prior to any copyright-protected uses of the collection.

The user agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, including its officers, employees, and agents, from and against all claims made relating to copyright or other intellectual property infringement

Historical Note

The owner and founder of LIGHT Gallery was Tennyson Schad (1930-2001), who held a strong interest in the collection of contemporary photography. Schad first considered photojournalism for the market, but after seeing the works of contemporary photographers like Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan, Schad changed his focus. At the time, the Witkin Gallery was the only other New York gallery devoted solely to photography, which had opened in 1969 and represented 19th and 20th century photography. LIGHT Gallery was different as it was the first gallery to exclusively market, exhibit, and sell contemporary photography, often featuring young up-and-coming artists that no one had heard of. Many influential photographers were represented at LIGHT Gallery including Frederick Sommer, Garry Winogrand, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, among others.

In 1971, Schad hired Harold Jones as LIGHT Gallery’s first director, and the gallery opened at 1018 Madison Avenue in New York City. Jones had previously been working as a curator at the George Eastman House in Rochester. In 1975, Jones went on to become the first director of the Center for Creative Photography. In 1976, the Gallery moved to 724 Fifth Avenue, which was a much larger space.

Robert Mann was the last director of LIGHT Gallery, from 1983 until its closing in 1987. The vast majority of photography gallerists and directors trained at or worked with LIGHT Gallery including Jones (director, 1971-1975), Peter MacGill (associate director, 1977-1979; director, 1980-1981), Robert Mann (director, 1983-1987), Laurence Miller (associate director, 1974-1980), Victor Schrager (director, 1975-1978) and Charles Traub (director, 1978-1980).

Tennyson Schad was born in 1930 in New York. He attended Williams College and New York University Law School, where he studied law. Schad practiced law for Cravath, Swaine and Moore, and later opened his own firm, Norwick, Schad and Goering. During this time, Schad also worked as an editorial counsel for Time Inc., where he met and married photography editor Fern Schad, and his passion for photography was born. Schad kept his other interest in photojournalism, and for over 30 years, worked as outside counsel for Forbes magazine. Schad passed away from cancer on May 26, 2001 in Manhattan.


61 Boxes (69 linear feet)

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


The LIGHT Gallery collection documents the lifespan of LIGHT Gallery, from its inception in 1971 to its closure in 1987. The collection contains distinct ephemera including correspondence, financial records, and artist files. LIGHT gallery was the first art gallery that devoted itself to the retailing, exhibiting, and promotion of contemporary photography. The gallery sold prints from renowned photographers including Ansel Adams and Paul Strand, and it represented artists including Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, and Garry Winogrand.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Artist Files, 1967-2000, 10 boxes
  2. Series 2: Staff Files, 1971-2012, 12 boxes
  3. Series 3: Business Records, 1971-1994
  4. Series 4: Second LIGHT and LIGHT L.A., 1979-1990, 3 boxes
  5. Series 5: Memorabilia, n.d., 1996, 10 boxes
  6. Series 6: Photographic Materials, n.d., 1935-1998, 11 boxes

Custodial History

Materials were donated by Fern Schad, widow of Tennyson Schad, to CCP in 2006.


Additional materials were donated and received in 2010 by Fern Schad and the Estate of Tennyson Schad.

Related Materials

AG 67: Harold Jones Papers, Center for Creative Photography

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Amy Rule in 2007 with the assistance of volunteer and past director, Harold Jones. Additional materials were integrated into the collection in 2010. The finding aid was updated by Alexis Peregoy in 2018.

Light Gallery archive 1935-2012
Finding aid created by CCP Archives Staff
© 2019
Description rules
Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid encoded in English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States