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Wynn Bullock miscellaneous acquisitions collection

Identifier: AG 80

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of 14 subgroups, each collected from a separate source and have been described individually.

Subgroup 1 consists of four 8”x10” black and white research prints made by CCP staff, 1984-.

Subgroup 2 contains a photograph of Bullock's studio, Santa Maria, CA, 1943; "Wynn Bullock:" speech given by Edna Bullock, 1986; and Bullock's introduction to Edward Weston's portfolio (Witkin-Berley) 1971

Subgroup 3 contains two 5-inch reel-to-reel audiotapes of a Wynn Bullock lecture to a Morie Camhi class at San Francisco College, ca. 1977. The lecture was titled "Expanded Statement."

Subgroup 4 includes exhibition catalogs, exhibition announcements, clipping, monographs, periodicals, postcards, and publications with Wynn Bullock images, 1996-2001.

Subgroup 5 contains 35 mm color transparencies (80) by Wynn Bullock, made between 1960-1963. These first generation originals and duplicate slides were used by Jones Photocolor, Inc. to make color prints during the photographer’s life.

Subgroup 6 contains audio recordings of Wynn Bullock lecturing, ca. 1975. Two reel-to-reel audiotapes, titled “Talk 1” and “Talk 2” and six listening copies on CD.

Subgroup 7 consists of papers, ca. 1975-1976, related to Wynn Bullock (5 folders). Includes correspondence from Harold Jones, Edna Bullock, Lawrence C. Powell, and others. Also present are obituary and death announcements, a prospectus for a film about Bullock, and color snapshots of Powell and Bullock (1975).

Subgroup 8 contains audiovisual media, manuscripts and photographs related to the 1963 film Wynn Bullock made by filmmaker Edward Shuster. Included are twelve 16mm motion picture films, two reel-to-reel audio tapes, a VHS tape copy of Wynn Bullock , three gelatin silver portraits of Bullock (possibly stills from the film), a shot-by-shot description of the film, film notes and a copyright certificate for the film.

Subgroup 9, originals on loan returned. Copies are located in Subgroup 12.

Subgroup 10 consists of three photo CDs containing scans of portraits by Jack D. Ward and Sam Seely, scanned in Photoshop 7.0 with Epson Twain using Mac G4 and nine inkjet prints from the scanned photographs, with notations: Wynn Bullock (5), Edna Bullock (2), Bullock daughters (1), and Marie Cosindas (1)

Subgroup 11 contains three color photographs made from digital scans of color slides made by Wynn Bullock in the early 1970s. Verso of the prints has a stamp reading “Photograph by Wynn Bullock. Authenticated by Jack D. Ward.” All three images are of female nudes in the landscape.

Subgroup 12 contains fourteen CDs copied from audiotaped interviews. The CDs contain “Oral History” interviews between Don Anderson and Barbara Bullock-Wilson, February, 2003 regarding the work and career of Wynn Bullock and her personal reminiscences. Estimated time: 12 hours of interviews. The subgroup also includes one folder of typed summaries of the interviews and one folder with a7/25/08 rough, unedited draft transcription of Tape 1 made by Don Anderson.

Note: permission is granted for researchers to listen to these interviews and to read the summaries. Permission to quote in publication must be obtained from Barbara Bullock-Wilson. Please consult Archivist for additional information. © 2003 Barbara Bullock-Wilson.

Subgroup 13 contains a four page, handwritten letter from Wynn Bullock to George Bush, May 11, 1972 and an invitation to a celebration of Wynn Bullock’s life, December 21, 1975

Subgroup 14 contains the 2010 monograph Wynn Bullock: Color Light Abstractions, edited by Barbara Bullock-Wilson and signed by her; a DVD Wynn Bullock: Color Light Abstractions, a slide show shown during the exhibition at CCP, September-November 2010; a DVD, Wynn Bullock: Photographer, a film by Thom Tyson, 1976/2010.


  • Creation: 1943 - 2010


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

Wynn Bullock (1902 – 1975) was born in Chicago and raised in South Pasadena, California. His early career was as a singer, and following high school he moved to New York where he performed in the chorus of Irving Berlin’s Music Box Revue and later with the show’s Road Company. During the mid-1920s, while performing in Europe, he became fascinated with artworks by Cezanne, Man Ray, and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy. Bullock once wrote, “My first ambition was to become a concert singer….But interpreting others’ creative work did not satisfy my own creative impulses and so I turned to photography.” Bullock bought a simple box camera and launched into amateur picture making.

In 1938 Bullock enrolled at the Los Angeles Art Center School. Three years later, his work was showcased in one of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's early solo photography exhibitions. During the 1940s, he conducted pioneering research to control the effect of solarization (a darkroom process for altering an image) and was awarded patents in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain for a “Photographic Process for Producing Line Image.”

Bullock was deeply inspired by fellow photographer Edward Weston, who he met in 1948, and Weston’s work motivated him to investigate straight photography. Throughout the 1950s, Bullock clarified his unique point of view, establishing a deep, direct connection with nature. A lifelong learner, he also read widely in the areas of physics, general semantics, philosophy, psychology, Eastern religion, and art.

Bullock came into the public spotlight when Museum of Modern Art curator Edward Steichen chose two of his photographs for the 1955 Family of Man exhibition. When the exhibition was shown at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., his photograph Let There Be Light, was voted most popular. The second, Child in Forest, became one of the exhibition’s most memorable images. By the end of that decade, his work was widely exhibited and published worldwide and in 1957, he was honored with a medal from the Salon of International Photography.

During the early 1960s, Bullock departed from the black-and-white imagery for which he was known and produced a major body of work, Color Light Abstractions, which expressed his belief that light is a great force at the heart of all being. Further image-making innovation included alternative approaches including extended time exposures, photograms, and negative printing.

During the 1960s and 1970s Bullock expanded his influence through other roles. In 1968, he became a trustee and chairman of the exhibition committee during formative years at Friends of Photography in Carmel, California. He taught advanced photography courses at Chicago’s Institute of Design during Aaron Siskind’s sabbatical and at San Francisco State College at John Gutmann’s invitation. In the last decades of his life, he lectured widely, participated in many photographic seminars and symposia, and was a guest instructor for the Ansel Adams Yosemite Workshops. Bullock died at the age of 73 in November 1975.

Along with Ansel Adams, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Frederick Sommer, he was one of the founding photographers whose archives established the Center for Creative Photography in 1975.


6 Boxes (1 linear foot)

Metadata Rights Declarations

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


Miscellaneous materials documenting the life and career of Wynn Bullock (1902-1975), photographer, teacher, and inventor. Includes writings, photographic and audiovisual materials, and publications. Note that other materials related to Wynn Bullock may be organized in other archive groups under the name of the donor; for example, see the Bender/Nordby Collection for a film interview with Bullock.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1:

Custodial History

Subgroup 1, Research prints made by CCP staff, 1984-.

Subgroup 2, Gift of Jack D. Ward, 1987.

Subgroup 3, Gift of Morie Camhi, 1983.

Subgroup 4, Gift of Barbara Bullock Wilson, 2002.

Subgroup 5, Gift of W. Lawson Jones, 1991.

Subgroup 6, Gift of Jack D. Ward, 2004.

Subgroup 7, Gift of Lawrence Clark Powell.

Subgroup 8, Gift of Ray Tomasso, 2007-2008.

Subgroup 9, Loan of 2005, returned to Barbara Bullock-Wilson.

Subgroup 9, Loan of 2005, returned to Barbara Bullock-Wilson.

Subgroup 10, Gift of Jack D. Ward, 2004.

Subgroup 11, Gift of Jack D. Ward, 2004.

Subgroup 12, Gift of Barbara Bullock-Wilson, 2009.

Subgroup 13, Gift of Margery Bush, 2010.

Subgroup 14, Gift of Bullock Family Photography LLc, 2010.

Processing Information

Subgroup 9 appears to have been integrated into Subgroup 12 and the originals returned to Barbara Bullock-Wilson. See letters of October 22, 2005 and May 27, 2009 in the donor file.

Finding aid updated by Meghan Jordan in June 2016.

Wynn Bullock Miscellaneous Acquisitions collection
Finding aid updated by Meghan Jordan
© 2016
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