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Louise Dahl-Wolfe miscellaneous acquisitions collection

Identifier: AG 153

Scope and Contents

This collection contains miscellaneous materials (circa 1940s-2000) documenting the career and life of Louise Dahl-Wolfe (1895-1989), photographer. Each group of materials is described separately.

Subgroup 1, Postcards, contains postcards created by Fotofolio, known for publishing fine art and photographic images on postcards, using Dahl-Wolfe’s photographs.

Subgroup 2, Videotape, includes reference copies of the film “Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Painting with Light,” from Polaris Entertainment, 1988, as well as footage of an interview with Dahl-Wolfe.

Subgroup 3, Contact prints, contains contact prints of Dahl-Wolfe’s studio in the 1940s.

Subgroup 4, Cards and letters, contains correspondence between Dahl-Wolfe, Alberta Boutyette, and Otto Fenn.


  • circa 1940s-2000


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

Louise Dahl-Wolfe (1895-1989) was a photographer known for her fashion photography and portraiture. She was born in 1895 in Alameda, California to Norwegian parents and studied at the San Francisco Institute of Art. While traveling in Europe in 1927 with the photographer Consuelo Kanaga, she met her future husband, Meyer (Mike) Wolfe. Wolfe was a sculptor with whom she collaborated on various projects; one example of their collaboration is the Chinese calligraphy background, published in Harper’s Bazaar, April, 1958. Dahl-Wolfe produced her first published photograph in 1932, after which she moved with her husband to New York City where she opened a photography studio and shot advertising and fashion photographs as a freelance photographer.

In 1938 Dahl-Wolf was hired at Harper’s Bazaar as a staff fashion photographer in 1938. During her tenure with the magazine Dahl-Wolfe was instrumental in setting the tone for fashion images that have had wide-ranging influence, from fashion photography to art, clothing styles and music choreography. Under the editorship of Carmel Snow and Diana Vreeland, Dahl-Wolfe produced portraits of the rich and famous for Harper’s that continue to be widely reproduced today. She produced both black-and-white and color work and was well-known for her use of natural lighting and for shooting on location. After leaving Harper’s Bazaar in 1958, Dahl-Wolfe returned to freelance photography and produced work for both Vogue and Sports Illustrated, until retiring in 1960. Dahl-Wolfe later moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and died in New Jersey in 1989 of pneumonia.


0.25 Linear Feet

Metadata Rights Declarations

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


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Subgroup 1: Postcards, 1994, 1 folder
  2. Subgroup 2: Videotape, 2000, 1 tape
  3. Subgroup 3: Contact prints, circa 1940s, 1 folder
  4. Subgroup 4: Cards, letters, 1974, 1977-1978; 1984-1985, 1 folder

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials acquired from miscellaneous sources.

Subgroup 2, gift of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Irving Solero, 2000.

Subgroup 3, gift of Margaret Hummel Cohen, 1992.

Subgroup 4, gift of James M. McKinney, 2018.

Related Materials

There are related materials in AG 76, the Louise Dahl-Wolfe archive.


  • “Dahl-Wolfe, Louise.” MoCP, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, Accessed 27 July, 2020.
  • Hostetler, Lisa. “Louise Dahl-Wolfe.” ICP, International Center of Photography, Accessed 27 July, 2020.


  1. Dahl-Wolfe, Louise, 1895-1989
  2. Fotofolio (Firm)
  3. Photography
  4. Fashion photographers
  5. Fashion photography

Processing Information

The finding aid for the collection was updated by Phoenix Smithey in 2017 and by Tai Huesgen in 2020.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe miscellaneous acquisitions collection circa 1940s-2000
Finding aid created by CCP Archives Staff
© 2020
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