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William Silano collection

Identifier: AG 263

Biographical Materials undated, 1966-1981, 1985, 1989, 1992, 1994-1995

Separated into four subseries: Correspondence, Writings, Portfolios, and Awards.

Project Files 1965-1978, 1994 is separated into 4 subseries: Harper’s Bazaar, Nudes, Miscellaneous, Notebooks, and Original Folders. Project files include negatives, proofs, contact prints, work notes, and receipts. The original, non-archival, project file folders have been photocopied and the originals are stored in box 7, Photocopies are with appropriate materials. Boxes 3-6 are arranged by project number while Boxes 7-8 contain Nude and Misc. projects organized by date due to the inconsistency of project numbers. Business materials such as invoices and receipts are included in their respective folders. Negatives are currently included but will be isolated in cold storage for preservation

Printed Materials 1961-1994, 2011, 2015 is is separated into 4 subseries: Periodicals, Tearsheets Booklets & Publication Proofs, Mockups, and Photocopied Articles. A maximum of 3 copies of each periodical issue are kept if duplicates are present based on condition. Periodicals are organized by publication first, then year.

Photographic Materials 1965-1982 is separated into 7 subseries: Color Slides, Negatives, Polaroids, Photographs, Prints, Transparencies, and Personal Photographs. Slides housed in plastic boxes have been rehoused into archival slide boxes to be properly preserved, while slides in original Kodak boxes remain there due to cost and time restrictions of rehousing this portion of the collection. Materials will eventually need to be in cold storage for ideal preservation. The slides and negatives located in project files will remain there until collection is surveyed for cold storage. Slides with suspected mold have been separated for conservation assessment. Subseries 5: Prints is housed in an oversized drawer labeled accordingly. Negatives and slides require advanced notice.


  • 1961-1995, 2011, 2015


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

William “Bill” Silano (1934 -2014) was born March 26, 1934 in Flushing, Queens, NY. His brother George Silano had a darkroom in the basement of their parents’ house, where a young Bill became familiar with the basics of the photographic process. Silano gained technical knowledge of the practice of photography from studying his brother’s copy of The US Army Field Manual of Photography and formally studied at the School of Modern Photography in Manhattan. In the 1950s, Silano enlisted in the National Guard. After his military service he enrolled in a photography workshop taught by Alexey Brodovich, art director for Harper’s Bazaar. Silano was invited to Paris to photograph for Elle Magazine, and settled in London working for local publications such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

After returning to the United States in the mid-1960s, Silano began working with the art directors Ruth Ansel and Bea Feitler at Harper’s Bazaar in New York. He also photographed for Town & Country, Wear-Dated, and Vogue Italia. His career spanned the mid-1960s to the late 1980s with a few projects in the early 1990s. Silano’s work embodied Brodovich’s teaching of, “If you look in the camera viewfinder and see a picture you’ve seen or taken before, don’t take it.” Embracing experimentation, Silano focused on surreal landscapes cultivated through scale and color to compose his images.


128 Boxes (156 cubic feet)

Metadata Rights Declarations

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


Collection consists primarily of color slides, project files, and periodicals containing Silano's work. Negatives, contact prints, proofs, tearsheets, mock-ups, correspondence, photographs, and personal photographs are also represented. Materials present range from 1961-1995, 2011, 2015 with the majority of items from the late 60s through early 80s range, representing Silano's most active years.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Biographical Materials
  2. Subseries 1: Correspondence
  3. Subseries 2: Writings
  4. Subseries 3: Portfolios
  5. Subseries 4: Awards
  6. Series 2: Project Files
  7. Subseries 1: Harper’s Bazaar
  8. Subseries 2: Nudes
  9. Subseries 3: Miscellaneous
  10. Subseries 4: Notebooks
  11. Subseries 5: Original Project Folders
  12. Series 3: Printed Materials
  13. Subseries 1: Periodicals
  14. Subseries 2: Tearsheets, Booklets & Publication Proofs
  15. Subseries 3: Mockups
  16. Subseries 4: Photocopied Articles
  17. Series 4: Photographic Materials
  18. Subseries 1: Color Slides
  19. Subseries 2: Negatives
  20. Subseries 3: Polaroids
  21. Subseries 4: Photographs
  22. Subseries 5: Prints
  23. Subseries 6: Transparencies
  24. Subseries 7: Personal Snapshots

Custodial History

The William Silano Archive is composed of materials donated by George Silano in 2017.

Related Materials

Photographs also reside in the CCP’s Fine Print collection. Please contact archivist for details.

Separated Materials

Separated materials include potential mold hazards from select slides, tearsheets, and Polaroids. Negatives will eventually be separated into cold storage.

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid created by Sarah Jardini in 2018. Processing is still active and some materials may not be fully accessible. Please see archivist for details.

William Silano Collection 1961-1995, 2011, 2015
Finding aid created by Sarah Jardini
© 2019
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