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Charles Harbutt collection

Identifier: AG 144

Scope and Contents

The Charles Harbutt collection is composed of fifteen series: Correspondence and business files, Biographical materials, Writings, Lectures and workshops, Teaching files, Exhibition files, Book projects, Project files, Legal and financial files, Equipment files, Posters, Audiovisual materials, Publications, Awards and plaques, and Photographic materials.

Series one, Correspondence and business files, contains correspondence dating from the 1950s to 2012, as well as a poster, postcard contacts, and papers relating to Magnum Photos, Archive Pictures, Inc., and Actuality, Inc.

Series two, Biographical materials, includes Harbutt’s applications to the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, press passes and passports, materials related to Harbutt’s family, his yearbooks, interviews with Harbutt, and portraits of Harbutt.

Series three, Writings, contains writings by Harbutt arranged by date and dating from 1953-2000.

Series four, Lectures and workshops, is comprised of materials relating to Harbutt’s various lectures and workshops, and include both miscellaneous lecture material as well as files relating to specific lectures and workshops between 1970 and 2001.

Series five, Teaching files, includes an untitled manuscript by Harbutt, class assignment materials, as well as notes and materials from Harbutt’s time at Parsons School of Design.

Series six, Exhibition files, contains material related to exhibitions Harbutt participated in between the 1950s and 2014, and materials related to the 1980 “Salford ‘80” exhibition curated by Harbutt.

Series seven, Book projects, is made up of materials related to Harbutt’s various book projects circa 1967 to 2016, and is arranged alphabetically.

Series eight, Project files, includes materials from Harbutt’s photographic projects ranging from 1961 to 2018, and includes Picture Bandit materials from Magnum’s America In Crisis Exhibition, 1971.

Series nine, Legal and financial files, contains materials from a 1983-1988 lawsuit for reuse of photographs, ledgers, expense materials, earning statements, and finances.

Series ten, Equipment files, is made up of camera and other photographic guides, darkroom and lab information, and other technical materials.

Series eleven contains two boxes of posters.

Series twelve, Audiovisual materials, contains motion picture films in various formats, including NBC’s “Catholic Hour,” A Walk in the World, Child of Light, and Guy’s Song.

Series thirteen, Publications, includes clippings; various publications and magazines including Jubilee, Life, Look, and others; miscellaneous tearsheets; books and periodicals containing Harbutt images; and some exhibition materials.

Series fourteen is made up of awards, plaques, and certificates of recognition awarded to Harbutt, as well as his high school diploma and other memorabilia.

Series fifteen, Photographic materials, consists of three subseries: Negative and contact logs, Contact sheets, and Negatives. These contain negative and contact logs, contact sheets, negatives, and photographs from 1949 to 1998.


  • 1949-2018


Language of Materials

Material in English

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is held by the photographer.

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

Award-winning photographer, photojournalist, editor, and educator Charles Harbutt was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1935. Harbutt attended Marquette University in Wisconsin, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in journalism in 1956.

Harbutt served as associate editor of Catholic magazine Jubilee from 1956 to 1959, where he reported on topics including education, migrant farm workers and civil rights. In 1959, Harbutt was invited to document the Fidel Castro revolution, sponsored by Castro supporters. Harbutt worked as a freelance photographer from 1959 to 1986. In 1963 until 1981, he was a member of Magnum Photos, Inc. where he was elected as president twice and specialized in international and domestic political coverage.

While Harbutt’s early work was largely based around reporting, his later work shifted toward the more personal, day-to-day images he saw in his life. Harbutt’s work has been featured in several individual and group exhibitions at many notable museums both in the United States and abroad, including: the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of American History, George Eastman House, the International Center of Photography, the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Beaubourg, and the Maison européenne de la photographie. Harbutt’s publications include Travelog (MIT Press, Cambridge, 1974), Charles Harbutt: I Grandi Fotografi (Editoriale Fabbri, Milan, 1983), Progreso (Navarin Editeur, Paris, 1987), and Departures and Arrivals (Damiani, Bologna, 2012).

Harbutt taught photography throughout the United States at institutions including Pratt Institute, Cooper Union, and Bard College. He was also a visiting artist at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1975, the Rhode Island School of Design in 1976, and MIT in 1978. In 1999, Harbutt became an associate professor at Parsons School of Design. Harbutt continued to teach photography workshops all over the country until his death. He died of emphysema on June 30, 2015 in Monteagle, Tennessee.


Born July 29 in Camden, New Jersey.
B.S. in Journalism from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.
Associate editor and photographer for Jubilee magazine.
Marries Alberta Steves, with whom he would have three children.
Travels to Cuba for project documenting Cuban revolution.
Freelance magazine photographer.
First one-person exhibition, Image Gallery, New York, NY.
Member of Magnum Photos.
Child of Light, his animated still film wins first prize for Television documentary at Monte Carlo Festival.
Wins Blakeslee Award of the American heart Association for Life story “Code 99.”
Given By-Line award, Marquette University, for distinguished alumni of College of Journalism.
One-person exhibition, Art Institute of Chicago.
Wins University of Missouri award for best use of photography in a magazine form for Look essay on West Side of Chicago.
Consultant, Picture Editor and Chief Photographer to the New York City Planning Commission for their publication, The Plan for the City of New York, a six-volume master plan.
Curates travelling show America in Crisis, which explored the impact of various media on the same set of images. Riverside Museum, New York, NY.
Co-edits Magnum book America In Crisis.
Film: Guy’s Song.
1970 Animated film: America: 1969, which he co-directed, awarded a Gold Medal at Atlanta International Film Festival.
Designed and produced The Picture Bandit, a chance projection device and installation included in the Sao Paolo Biennale.
Vice-President and member of board of governors, American Society of Magazine Photographers.
President of Magnum Photos, NY.
Teaches at Pratt Institute and institutes course exploring various media for viewing photographs.
Adjunct Professor, Cooper Union. Designs film program.
One-person exhibition, Imagewerks, Boston, MA.
Teaches at workshops: Apeiron, Millertown, NY; Center of the Eye, Aspen,CO; Imageworks, Cambridge, MA; The Photography Place, Berwyn, PA; Rencontre Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France; Maine Photographic Workshops; Andersen Ranch Arts Center, Aspen, CO.
Awarded New York State Council Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS) grant. Catalog: Exposure.
Commissioned by U.S. Bicentennial Committee to produce official announcement exhibit.
First monograph, Travelog, published by MIT Press.
Travelog awarded “Best Photographic Book of 1974” at Rencontre Internationales de la Photographie in Arles, France.
One-person exhibition, Il Diaframma, Milan, Italy.
One-person exhibition, Photogalerie, Paris, France.
One-person exhibition, Photographers’ Gallery, London, England.
Workshop: International Center of Photography, New York, NY.
Curates “In Search of Photography,” Hayward Gallery, MIT.
Visiting Artist at the Art Institute of Chicago.
One-person exhibition, Musee Reatu, Arles, France.
Visiting Artist at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Represented in the exhibition and book Photography in America, Whitney Museum, New York.
One-person exhibition, Kalamazoo Art Institute, Kalamazoo, MI.
President of Magnum Photos, NY.
One-person exhibition, Galerie Fiolet, Amsterdam, Holland.
He and Alberta divorce.
Marries photographer Joan Liftin.
Visiting Artist at MIT, Cambridge, MA.
Curates Salford ’80, (American Photography 1930-1980), England.
One-person exhibition, Salford ’80, Salford, England.
Resigns from Magnum Photo.
Founding member of Archive Pictures Inc., an international documentary photographers’ cooperative.
President of Archive Pictures.
Charles Harbutt: I Grandi Fotografi, published by Editoriale Fabbri, Milan, Italy.
One-person exhibition, Artists’ Space, New York, NY (Mark Rothko Foundation exhibition grant).
One-person exhibition, “Progreso,” Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France.
Second monograph, Progreso published by Navarin Editeur, Paris.
Workshop: “Work by Photographers at Duckspool,” Duckspool, England.
English edition of Progreso published by Actuality Inc., New York.
One-person exhibition, Witkin Gallery, New York, NY.
Workshop: International Center of Photography, New York, NY.
Adjunct Associate Professor of Photography, Bard College.
Began donation of his materials to the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ.
Parsons School of Design.
One-person exhibition, Laurence Miller Gallery, New York, NY.
Negatives, master prints and archives acquired by the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ.
Workshop: Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City.
Retrospective exhibition, “FotoAutoBio,” at the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ.
Workshop: “Work by Photographers at Duckspool,” Duckspool, England.
Appointed full-time Associate Professor at Parsons.
Workshop: “Work by Photographers at Duckspool”, Duckspool, England.
Toscana Workshop, Tuscany, Italy.
Workshop: International Center of Photography, New York, NY.
One-person exhibition, “Retrospectiva,” Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City.
One-person exhibition, “Dreams and Memories,” Laurence Miller Gallery, New York, NY.
One-person exhibition, Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France.
One-person exhibition, Peer Gallery, New York, NY.
One-person exhibition, Silverlens Gallery, Manila, Philippines.
One-person exhibition, Focale Gallery, Nyon, Switzerland.
Third monograph, Departures and Arrivals, published by Damiani, Bologna.
Exhibition and lecture at BursaPhotoFest, Bursa, Turkey.
Exhibition, “Charles Harbutt: Departures and Arrivals,” Center for Creative Photography, Tucson.
Dies June 30 in Monteagle, Tennessee teaching a workshop.


40 Linear Feet

Metadata Rights Declarations

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


Personal papers, ephemera, publications, audiovisual, and photographic materials related to the career of Charles Harbutt (1935-2015), photographer, teacher, and writer. Includes Magnum story logs, project files, negatives, information on the Salford 80 exhibition, diaries and other material related to Harbutt's book Progreso, Travelog, Departures and Arrivals and eight bound volumes of the magazine Jubilee (1953-1961).


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Correspondence and business files, n.d., circa 1950s-2012, 2 boxes
  2. Series 2: Biographical materials, n.d., 1949-2015, 3 boxes
  3. Series 3: Writings, n.d., 1953-2000, 1 box
  4. Series 4: Lectures and workshops, n.d., 1970-2001, 2 boxes
  5. Series 5: Teaching files, n.d., 1995-2002, 1 box
  6. Series 6: Exhibition files, n.d., circa 1950s-2014, 2 boxes
  7. Series 7: Book projects, n.d, circa 1967-2016, 4 boxes
  8. Series 8: Project files, n.d., 1961-2018, 2 boxes
  9. Series 9: Legal and financial files, 1958-2000, 1 box
  10. Series 10: Equipment files, n.d., 1990-1995, 1 box
  11. Series 11: Posters, n.d., 2 boxes
  12. Series 12: Audiovisual materials, n.d., 1 box
  13. Series 13: Publications, n.d., circa 1950s-2014, 15 boxes
  14. Series 14: Awards and plaques, n.d., 1952-2005, 1 box

Series 15: Photographic materials, n.d., 1949-1998, 93 boxes

  1. Subseries 1: Negative and contact logs, 1956-1983, 2 boxes
  2. Subseries 2: Contact sheets, 1956-1986, 28 boxes
  3. Subseries 3: Negatives, n.d., 1949-1998, 63 boxes

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials in this collection began arriving as a gift of the photographer in May 1993, and additional materials have been received from Joan Liftin. The collection is active.


  • Bailey, Holly. Charles Harbutt, a Photographer Captivated by Magic in Pictures. Yahoo! News, Yahoo!, 3 Mar. 2014,
  • Roberts, Sam. Charles Harbutt, Photojournalist With an Eye for Art, Dies at 79. The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Dec. 2017,

Processing Information

The finding aid was updated by Caroline Ross in 2018, again by Alexis Peregoy in 2019, and again by Tai Huesgen in 2020.

Charles Harbutt collection 1949-2018
Finding aid created by CCP Archives Staff
© 2020
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Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
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Script of description
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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