Todd Walker collection
Scope and Contents
This collection documents the life and work of photographer, bookmaker and instructor Todd Walker. The collection includes self-published monographs, exhibition announcements, tearsheets, periodicals, writings, ephemera, and, biographical materials. Artifacts such as a book binding press, t-shirts printed by Walker, photographic materials including negatives, collotypes, and prints, as well as Walker’s photographic process formulas can be found within the collection. The collection is divided into nine series: Correspondence, Artifacts, Biographical Materials, Activity Files, Ephemera, Exhibitions, Monographs and Publications, Photographic Materials, and Writings.
Series 1, Correspondence contains letters written by and to Todd Walker. For correspondence relating to Walker’s exhibitions and gallery consignments, see the Exhibition and Gallery Materials series. The Correspondence series is composed of fan mail, personal correspondence, postcards, and professional correspondence. It is mainly incoming correspondence. Due to the diversity of correspondents, items are primarily arranged in chronological order. Fan mail includes letters sent to Walker from admirers of his work. Personal correspondence and Postcards were sent from Walker’s family and friends, covering general topics. Professional correspondence includes correspondence relating to Walker’s photography career, covering such topics as advertising projects, potential job opportunities, publishing rights, and auctions/donations.
Series 2, Artifacts contains various objects, including a book press and t-shirts, made by Todd Walker.
Series 3, Biographical Materials has five subseries, which document the career of Todd Walker as well as his memorial service at the Center for Creative Photography. The Biographical Materials subseries consists of biographies, financial records, insurance records, medical records, materials relating to Walker’s death and memorial, photographs of Walker and family, resumes, and Walker’s will. The materials concerning Walker’s death and memorial include announcements, such as one publicizing the memorial held at the Center for Creative Photography, correspondence, and a videotape by A. Friedkin entitled “Memories of Todd Walker.” The correspondence contains letters of condolences written to Walker’s daughter, Melanie, as well as letters written to Walker during his last days of life.
Series 4, Activity Files includes five subseries: business records, Society of Photographic Education records, Teaching files, Photography Career files, and Speeches, Talks and Interviews. Business records contains information about acquisitions, appointment books, and various business deals. The Society of Photographic Education subseries contains correspondence, conferences minutes, membership listings and speeches given at the Society of Photographic Education. The teaching subseries contains documents used to teach classes. Under Teaching, items are separated into the various colleges Walker taught at and consist of correspondence, course outlines, newsletters, and other related resources.
Series 5, Ephemera contains an assortment of document created by Walker or collected by him, various signs which hung at this wall, and studio are found in this series. The Ephemera accrual materials consist of an assortment of items collected by Walker, such as pages torn from books, blank postcards, doodles, and Todd Walker letterheads. Of particular notice is the results of a personality test taken by Walker.
Series 6, Exhibitions contains announcements and reviews of solo and group exhibitions that included Walker. Materials are mainly comprised of incoming correspondence from various institutions and museums concerning Walker’s exhibitions. Also included: materials directly related to the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959 and Andrew Smith Gallery; exhibition announcements for both Walker and others; information related to gallery consignments; forms (loans, receiving, insurance, etc.); lists of shows and sales; and essays written by Pima Community College photography students about Walker’s exhibition at the Center for Creative Photography in 1977.
Series 7, Monographs and Publications contains three subseries: clippings and newsletters, monographs by Todd Walker, and publications about Todd Walker. The subjects found within the series are about Todd Walker, by Todd Walker, or photographic processes. The Clippings subseries contains articles written by Walker, catalogs, clippings, newsletters, and publications about/featuring Walker’s work. However, the manuscripts and pre-print materials of portfolios and monographs created by Walker are of particular interest. This includes page mock-ups, notes, photographic materials, text, and related materials.
Series 8, Photographic Materials contains seven subseries, including images, collotypes, transparencies, negatives, and glass plates all created by Todd Walker. Photographic materials also include an array of photographs and prints, made by Walker and others. Also included are photographic prints that Cris Coba sent to Walker.
Series 9, Writings has nine subseries: miscellaneous writings, notebooks, manuscripts, writings and manuals about photographic processes, poems, artistic statements and autobiographical statements, works in progress and writings by others. The subseries entitled Works in Progress shows different books in different stages of the creation process as well as a collection of old marbled paper used by Tom Walker. Materials include writings by others that Walker collected, such as theses and essays, an introduction written by Walker for A.J. Meeks’s portfolio, “The Highlands,” handwritten notes, writings on various photographic processes by both Walker and others, poetry written or collected by Walker, statements on photography made by Walker, and miscellaneous writings. The Notebooks subseries is mainly comprised of notebooks and memo pads, some being handmade by Walker.
Many of the accruals have not been physically integrated into the original collection, but are intellectually integrated in the finding aid. Accruals can be found in correspondence, biographical materials, activity files, writings, exhibitions, publications, and photographic materials.
- circa 1959-1987
- Walker, Todd (Person)
Language of Materials
Material in English
Conditions Governing Access
To access materials from this collection, please contact CCP-RefDesk@email.arizona.edu
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright held by the Todd Walker estate.
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
Todd Walker (born Harold Todd Walker) was born September 25, 1917 in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1922, his family moved to California and from 1930-1934 he attended Hoover High School in Glendale, California. After graduation, Walker became a painter for the Scenic Department of RKO Film Studios in Hollywood, where he worked until 1942. While working as a painter, he attended the Art Center School in Los Angeles as a part-time student. Walker was primarily a self-taught artist with a passion for photography.
In 1939, Walker begins a lifelong interest in making his own books by publishing his photographs in Harold T. Walker (one edition, self-published). From 1941-1943, Walker is a photographer with Tradefilms, Inc. in Hollywood. From 1943-1945, Walker serves in the Air Cadets of the US Army Air Corps. He is a pilot instructor in Arizona; second lieutenant. During this time, he marries Betty Mae McNutt (1944) and they have two children: Kathleen and Melanie.
From 1946 to 1970, Walker is a freelance photographer in advertising in Beverly Hills, California. During this time, he exhibits his work, with his first solo exhibition held in 1963 at the California Museum of Science and Industry. In 1964, Betty gifts Walker a small printing press as a Father’s Day gift, and he begins to make and distribute his own images. By 1965, he founds Thumbprint Press in Tarzana, California.
From 1966-1970, Walker is an instructor in photography at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. During this time Walker closes his commercial studio (1969). From 1969-1970, Walker is an instructor in non-silver photography at the University of California Extension in Los Angeles. In 1970, he becomes Associate Professor of Photography, Department of Art, in California State College but soon after moves to Gainesville, Florida. He also moves Thumbprint Press to Gainesville.
From 1970-1977, Walker is the Associate Professor in Photography and Printmaking, Department of Art, University of Florida in Gainesville. From 1976-1977, he applies for the Florida Council for the Arts Grant. In 1977, Walker settles in Tucson, Arizona and begins teaching for the University of Arizona alongside Harold Jones and W. Eugene Smith. Walker teaches photography at the University of Arizona until 1985. During this time, Walker receives a photography fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1983-1984). In 1981, Walker begins teaching himself machine language and became interested in digital photography, and was considered a pioneer in many forms. In 1987, Walker retires from teaching to pursue individual projects. He continued his research into the digital realm until his sudden death on September 13, 1998.
41.57 Cubic Feet (72.11 linear feet)
Metadata Rights Declarations
- License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.
Papers, artist's books, and photographic materials, circa 1959-1998, of Todd Walker (1917-1998), photographer, professor, and book artist. Bulk of the collection includes self-published monographs with limited amounts of biographical materials, exhibition announcements, tearsheets periodicals, ephemera collected by Walker, writings, and photographic materials including negatives, collotypes, and prints. The collection has unprocessed materials that may not appear in the finding aid.
The Collection is arranged into the following series:
- Series 1: Correspondence, 1957-1998
- Series 2: Artifacts, undated
- Series 3: Biographical Materials, undated, 1968-1998
- Subseries 1: Memorial
- Subseries 2: Resumes
- Subseries 3: Will
- Subseries 4: Financial, Insruancce, and Medical Records
- Subseries 5: Biography
- Series 4: Activity Files, undated, 1946-1998
- Subseries 1: Business Records
- Subseries 2: Society of Photographic Education
- Subseries 3: Teaching Files
- Subseries 4: Photography Career
- Subseries 5: Speeches, Talks, and Interviews
- Series 5: Ephemera, undated, 1970-1993
- Series 6: Exhibitions, undated, 1958-1996
- Series 7: Monographs and Publications, 1954-1998
- Subseries 1: Clippings and Newsletters
- Subseries 2: Monographs by Todd Walker
- Subseries 3: Publications about Todd Walker
- Series 8: Photographic Materials, undated, 1967-1990
- Subseries 1: Photographic Supplies
- Subseries 2: Collotypes
- Subseries 3: Dye Matrices
- Subseries 4: Glass Plates
- Subseries 5: Negatives
- Subseries 6: Transparencies
- Subseries 7: Photographs and Prints
- Series 9: Writings, 1960-1993
- Subseries 1: Miscellaneous Writings
- Subseries 2: Notebooks
- Subseries 3: Manuscripts/ Pre-printed Materials
- Subseries 4: Writings about Photographic Processes
- Subseries 5: Poems
- Subseries 6: Artistic Statements
- Subseries 7: Autobiographical Statements
- Subseries 8: Works in Progress
- Subseries 9: Writings by Others
Gift of the artist beginning in 1986 through 1998. Additional materials gifted by Melanie Walker.
The collection is active, and there have been multiple accruals, starting in 1989 and the most recent in 2016.
Preliminary inventory completed in August 1989 by Leslie Calmes. Additional contents have continued to be received since 1989. Finding aid updated to reflect accruals in 2017 by Alexis Peregoy.
- Todd Walker collection, circa 1959-1998
- Under Revision
- © 2018
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
- Language of description
- Script of description