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Aaron Siskind miscellaneous acquisitions collection

Identifier: AG 26

Scope and Contents

The collection was acquired from various sources. The collection consists of five subgroups.

Subgroup one contains eight letters, 1964-1966, from Siskind and his wife Caroline to Virginia Hassell Ballinger regarding a posthumous exhibit of Paul Hassel photographs at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Subgroup two contains the research materials of Stuart Alexander, gathered ca. 1981-1985 for a project to compile a comprehensive bibliography and exhibition chronology of Siskind. Includes notes and an explanation of the project.

Subgroup three contains “Aaron Siskind Collection: IMP/GEH Catalogue Records.” Prepared by Pat Byrne at the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, 1985. (733 records); a review of “Aaron Siskind: 50 Years,” International Center of Photography; Eulogy delivered by James Enyeart, 1991.

Subgroup four consists of a videotape, n.d., “The National Teaching and Learning Forum, ‘Aaron Siskind’; ‘Aaron Siskind Exhibition Interview’.”

Subgroup five consists of 168 Siskind 2 ¼” negatives of unknown date; grouped by “Mary Starka”, “Irene Keller’s son” and “Bobby Spinka”. In addition two 5x7” negatives “1B-2, 3-49”; “1B-3, 3-49”, Chicago.


  • Creation: 1964-1991


Language of Materials

Material in English

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

Aaron Siskind (December 4, 1903-February 8, 1991) was an American abstract expressionist photographer and teacher. His earliest important affiliation was with the New York Photo League (1936-1941), where he helped to document life in poorer neighborhoods of New York City. By the early 1940s, his attention turned from people and communities to pure composition, starting with architectural facades, then moving to increasingly abstracted details of man-made and natural objects. Over the years, Siskind developed a parallel teaching career, including notable stints teaching photography at Black Mountain College, the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Rhode Island School of Design.


2 Boxes (1.5 linear feet())


Collection contains miscellaneous materials, 1949-1991 documenting the life and career of Aaron Siskind, photographer. Each group of materials was collected from a separate source and is described individually as a subgroup. Among the materials are letters, a bibliography and exhibition chronology with accompanying research materials, 733 Siskind catalog records compiled from the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House in 1985, 168 Siskind negatives, a video recording, and Siskind’s eulogy delivered by James Enyeart in 1991.

Custodial History

  1. Subgroup 1, gift of Virginia Hassel Ballinger, 1984
  2. Subgroup 2, gift of Stuart Alexander, 1986
  3. Subgroup 3, gift of George Eastman House, 1991
  4. Subgroup 4, gift of Carlos Terrazas, 2002
  5. Subgroup 5, gift of Diana O. Rasche, 2012 [see note under processing information]

Related Materials

AG 30, Aaron Siskind archive is held at the Center for Creative Photography.

Processing Information

Subgroup Five has note in control file: “Aaron Siskind negatives found by Diana O. Rasche in a friend’s possessions and returned to CCP, 2012.”

Subgroup Six listed in previous finding aid, (consisting of three gelatin silver prints and three chromogenic prints of Aaron Siskind by Charles Traub) were added to the Charles Traub archive per Katherine Martinez, director. A.R.

Finding aid updated by Ann Richwine in 2014 and Alexis Peregoy in 2017.

Aaron Siskind Miscellaneous Acquisitions 1964-1991
Finding aid updated by Alexis Peregoy
© 2017
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