Skip to main content

Minor White miscellaneous acquisitions collection

Identifier: AG 9

Scope and Contents

Series one contains correspondence between White and Ansel Adams, 1949-1963, (16 folders) and other general correspondence between 1952 and 1965. Gift of Beaumont Newhall in 1977.

Series two is “A Notebook Resume of the Workshop in Photography Conducted by Minor White,” prepared by Arnold Gassan in Denver during the summer of 1962. There are two copies. Purchase from the Temple Bar Bookstore in Boston, Massachusetts, 1978.

Series three contains three audiotapes of Minor White discussing the photographs of his students in the Interim Photographic Workshop, circa 1965. Tapes have been dubbed for listening. Summary of tapes is available. Gift of Dr. Arnold Rustin, 1986.

Series four contains correspondence, dated August 26, 1976, between Victory Schrager, Light Gallery, New York, to Harold Jones, former director of the Center for Creative Photography. Also includes lists of Minor White prints for sale with prices and six contact sheets of all 140 prints listed. Contact sheets are made from 35 mm film.


  • Creation: 1949-1965, 1976


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

Minor White was born July 9, 1908 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his first camera in 1916. White studied botany at the University of Minnesota from 1928-1933. He then worked as a waiter from 1933-1937. In 1937, White moved to Portland, Oregon where he worked as an assistant in a photographic studio. A year later, White was an instructor in photography with the YMCA in Portland, was a member of the Camera Club of Oregon, and accepted a job as assistant secretary in the People’s Power League which helped him obtain the title of creative photographer for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). He continued to teach photography for the next few years until joining the Army and serving in the Philippines from 1942-1945.

Upon returning from the Philippines, White studied the history of art and esthetics at Columbia University in New York and worked as a photographer at the Museum of Modern Art with Beaumont and Nancy Newhall. In 1946, White met Alfred Stieglitz, Harry Callahan, and Paul Strand, and become a lecturer at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. In 1952, White founded and directed the magazine, Aperture, with Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Barbara Morgan, and Beaumont and Nancy Newhall. In 1953, White created a long series of demonstrations titled “How to Read a Photograph.” From 1953-1957, he worked with the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY and was the editor of the magazine Image. By 1955, White moved from portrait photography to landscape photography. White continued to instruct photography throughout the rest of his life, and was a founder of the Society for Photographic Education. He died in Boston on June 24, 1976.


1 Box (.25 linear feet))

Metadata Rights Declarations

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


Correspondence, 1949-1965, and papers, of Minor White (1908-1976), teacher, photographer, author, and editor. The bulk of the letters are between White and Ansel Adams, but there is some correspondence with other photographers. Also included are a "Notebook Resume", prepared by Arnold Gassan, from a photography workshop conducted by Minor White in 1962, and three audiotapes of Minor White discussing the photographs of his students in the Interim Photographic Workshop, circa 1962. Tapes have been dubbed for listening.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Correspondence, 1949-1965, 17 folders, gift of Beaumont Newhall
  2. Series 2: Notebooks, 1962, quantity: two, purchase from Temple Bar Bookstore
  3. Series 3: Audiotapes, 1965, quantity: three, gift of Dr. Arnold Rustin
  4. Series 4: Correspondence, 1976, 1 folder, Light Gallery

Custodial History

Collection materials acquired from miscellaneous sources.

Related Materials

Center for Creative Photography has books related to Minor White in the Library collection as well as prints in the Fine Print collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Judith Leckrone in July 1984. Materials were withdrawn from the Miscellaneous small collections (formerly AG 8, subgroup 44) by Kristi Bradford, May 1990. Finding aid updated by Alexis Peregoy in December 2016.

Minor White Miscellaneous collection 1949-1965, 1976
Finding aid updated by Alexis Peregoy
© 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