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Robert Heinecken miscellaneous acquisitions collection

Identifier: AG 235

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of three subgroups, each collected from a separate source and described individually.

Subgroup 1 consists of three DVDs with lectures, interviews, and a film by Robert Heinecken. Phil Savenick began collecting the materials to produce a film on Heinecken. Included are Savenick’s text notes and comments.

Titles with running times:

  1. Heinecken Slide Lecture, Phoenix College, 1988, 01:16:02
  2. Robert Heinecken, Video Archive, “Historical, 2009”, 00:36:53
  3. Phil Savenick’s Tribute to Heinecken, 00:10:00

Subgroup 2 contains a CD with annotations of videotapes made during Robert Heinecken’s Seminar, August 1995, Center for Creative Photography and of SPE 1999. Annotations by Tomiko Jones, Voices of Photography project, 2006-2007.

Subgroup 3, TIME magazine, February 1, 1971, containing photograph [VC Heads, p. 23] Heinecken used as source material. Magazine was shown during the exhibition Speaking in Tongues: Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken, 1961-1976.

Subgroup 4, contains a copy of a lecture given by Anne Tucker, Robert Heinecken Photographist: A 35 Year Retrospective, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; October 2, 1999. Copyright is held by Anne Tucker; any use requires permission from Anne Tucker.


  • 1971-2009


Language of Materials

Material in English

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions are in place in the various acquisitions.

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

Throughout his career, Robert Heinecken (1931–2006) amused, educated, and often shocked viewers with his pointed, irreverent photographic works. So provocative were Heinecken’s subjects—the Vietnam War, pornography, sexual politics, the media marketplace—that many critics and other observers rank either as avid fans or staunch detractors. It has always been difficult to call him a “photographer” in the strict sense of the word, because he rarely used a camera to make his pictures. Rather, Heinecken worked on the fringes of the photographic medium, and in the margins of what might be considered acceptable subject matter, as an artist who used photography only as a means to an artistic end.

Heinecken was born in Denver, Colorado, the only child of a Lutheran minister. In 1942 the family moved to Southern California, where Heinecken attended public high school and then community college in Riverside, earning an Associate’s Degree in Art in 1951. For the next two years, Heinecken studied at the University of California, Los Angeles. He dropped out in 1953 to enlist in the United States Navy, where he learned to fly airplanes. In 1954 he joined the Marine Corps as a fighter pilot. When he was discharged in 1957, he returned to university on the GI Bill, earning a BA in art in 1959 and an MA the following year. While in school, Heinecken concentrated mostly on printmaking, but by the end of his graduate study, he was introduced to photography and to the pre–Pop art ideas of Robert Rauschenberg and other artists who were using photographic imagery.

In 1960, Heinecken was appointed as an instructor in the Department of Art at UCLA, teaching drawing, design, and printmaking. Within two years he had initiated a photographic curriculum for the department and was appointed Assistant Professor in 1962, overseeing a regular series of courses in undergraduate photography. Over the next three decades, Heinecken’s influence as a teacher was profound; he encouraged his students to approach art—and particularly photography—in the same spirit of experimentation with which he approached his own work. Fostered in part by social and political events of the day—the Vietnam war, the women’s movement, and the growth of the counterculture—the classroom became a place for dialogue and self-evaluation.

When Heinecken emerged in the Southern California art scene in the mid-1960s, he was one of a growing number of artists who had begun to incorporate photographs and other images into their art as a way to renegotiate the nature and meaning of contemporary art. Other Los Angeles artists, like Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari, practiced photography as a medium of conceptual art. Inspired by these new approaches, Heinecken seized the opportunity to transform a medium restrained at one time by the purist principles of modernism into one increasingly intertwined with popular culture. At every stage, Heinecken’s work reminds us of photography’s pervasiveness and its significance as a medium of transformation. The Center’s first director, Harold Jones, acquired the first Heinecken prints for the collection in 1975.


.5 Linear Foot

Metadata Rights Declarations

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


Miscellaneous materials, 1971-2009, related to Robert Heinecken (1931-2006), photographer and teacher. Included are audiovisual materials with lectures, interviews, a film by Heinecken, seminar annotations, an image source, and text lecture on Heinecken’s 1999 retrospective exhibition.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Subgroup 1, 1988, 2009, 1 folder
  2. Subgroup 2, 1995, 1999, 2006-2007, 1 folder
  3. Subgroup 3, 1971, 1 folder
  4. Subgroup 4, 1999, 1 folder

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Subgroup 1, Gift of Phil Savenick, 2009.

Subgroup 2, Gift of Claudia Bohn-Spector, 2012.

Subgroup 4, Gift of Anne Tucker, 2014.

Subgroup 5, Gift of Darryl Curran in memory of Carole Brieant, 2021.

Related Materials

AG45: Robert Heinecken archive

The CCP Fine Prints collection contains prints by Robert Heinecken.

Processing Information

The finding aid was updated by Tai Huesgen in 2021.

Robert Heinecken miscellaneous acquisitions collection 1971-2009
Finding aid created by CCP Archives Staff
© 2021
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