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Lynn Stern collection

Identifier: AG 238

Scope and Contents

The collection is arranged into three series: Exhibition Files, Publications, Photographic Materials. The first series, Exhibitions, consists of correspondence and papers related to the exhibition shipping, framing, crating, installation, catalog production and reviews associated with her 2009 retrospective exhibition Frozen Mystery/El Misterio Congelado in Valladolid, Spain. The second series, Publications, consists of book mockups from selected published monographs. The third series, Photographic Materials, is comprised of 16 boxes of work prints from Frozen Mystery/El Misterio Congelado in addition to other series of work, such as Animus, Forebodings, Full Circle, Veiled Still Lifes, Ghost Circles, Beyond Bones, and (W)Holes.


  • 1971-2017


Language of Materials

Material in English, Spanish

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

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

Biographical Note

Born Lynn Solinger in New York City in 1942, Stern graduated with honors from Smith College, where she majored in English and minored in music. Stern's aesthetic sensibility was influenced by the collection of abstract expressionist painting and sculpture assembled by her father, David Solinger. Hoping to become a film editor, she apprenticed briefly at Ross-Gaffney Films then married architect Robert A.M. Stern, with whom she had a son, Nicholas. She worked as her husband’s photo archivist and became interested in photographic composition while assisting his in-house photographer, Edmund Stoecklein. During 1977, she studied at the International Center for Photography in New York, but left because the curriculum was oriented toward photojournalism. She divorced Robert A. M. Stern in 1977. In 1980, she married architect Jeremy Lang. She studied privately with Joseph Saltzer then printed with Paul Caponigro during 1981-1982. Lynn Stern is a life-long resident of New York City.

Stern works exclusively in black & white with natural, indirect light. “My aim,” she writes, “is to de-literalize what is in front of the lens—to make it the expression of something unseen, something beyond the thing itself.” Her work has moved increasingly toward abstraction. Early influences on her work included Paul Caponigro, Edward Weston, and the 19th century Luminist painters. Later influences include the writings and black paintings of Ad Reinhardt, and the work of Francis Bacon.

Stern has exhibited internationally and her work is in the permanent collections of prominent museums. In 2009 she had a retrospective exhibition entitled Frozen Mystery/El Misterio Congelado at Fundacíon Cristóbal Gabarrón in Valladolid, Spain. A catalog was published by the Fundacíon with the Center for Creative Photography for the exhibition.

Published monographs include Animus, Dispossession, Unveilings, Veiled Still Lifes, Frozen Mystery, and Skulls.

Appendix A includes a chronology of solo and group exhibitions. Appendix B is a list of Stern’s series of work between 1978 and present.


22 Boxes (16 linear feet)

Metadata Rights Declarations

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


Papers and photographic materials, 1971-2017, of American fine art photographer, Lynn Stern (b.1942). The collection includes work prints, publication and exhibition correspondence, exhibition reviews in the Spanish press and book mockups for her exhibitions catalogs and published monographs. The exhibition materials are all associated with her 2009 retrospective exhibition in Spain, Frozen Mystery/El Misterio Congelado. The bulk of the collection contains work prints from a variety of Stern’s series of work.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Exhibition Files, 2009-2010, 1 box
  2. Series 2: Publications, 1988-2017, 3 boxes
  3. Series 3: Photographic Materials, 1971-2017, 18 boxes

Custodial History

The collection was a gift of Lynn Stern, beginning in 2012.


Additional materials received in 2018.

Related Materials

Stern’s work resides in other public collections, including but not limited to: Brooklyn Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Portland Art Museum; Smith College Museum of Art; Victoria and Albert Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art; and Yale University Art Gallery

Separated Materials

There are photographs in the CCP’s fine print collection. Please see archivist for details.

Processing Information

The first set of materials, related to the 2009 retrospective exhibition in Spain, Frozen Mystery/El Misterio Congelado in Spain, arrived to the CCP in 2012 and processed by Anne Richwine. An additional 15 boxes arrived in 2018 and were processed and integrated into the collection by Alexis Peregoy.

Lynn Stern archive 1971-2017
Finding aid created by Alexis Peregoy
© 2020
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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