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Photography

The Gallery’s collection of photographs spans the medium’s history, with exceptional holdings of work made in America during the 20th century. Of particular distinction in the collection are complete sets of master prints by Robert Adams, Donald Blumberg, and Lee Friedlander.
Dealey Plaza, Dallas
U.S. 285, New Mexico
London
Anonymous, San Francisco
Albino sword swallower at a carnival, Maryland
Migratory Cotton Picker, Eloy, Arizona

About Photography

The first significant group of photographs to enter the Gallery’s collection were two extraordinary sets of images by Man Ray. A group of fifteen “Rayographs” came to the Gallery in 1941 from Marcel Duchamp and Katherine S. Dreier as part of the Société Anonyme collection of modern art, followed in 1953 by an additional group of photographic prints and Rayographs in a bequest from Dreier’s estate. The Gallery began to actively collect photographs in 1971, with the acquisition of twenty-five prints by Walker Evans, who taught at the Yale School of Art from 1964 to 1974, and today the collection holds over 700 of Evans’s prints and Polaroids.

The collection holds sets of master prints by Robert Adams, Donald Blumberg, and Lee Friedlander, along with significant holdings of work by Lucien Aigner and Inge Morath. The collection also includes strong examples from the tradition of street photography, including works by Robert Frank, Lewis Hine, Helen Levitt, and Garry Winogrand, and notable images of war and social upheaval by Larry Burrows, Dorothea Lange, Charles Moore, and W. Eugene Smith.

Committed to collecting the work of significant figures working today, the Gallery has acquired key works by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Zhang Huan, An-My Lê, Christian Marclay, Judith Joy Ross, Mark Ruwedel, James Welling, and others. The Gallery proudly features photographs by some of the medium’s most influential educators—including Richard Benson, Carl Chiarenza, Emmet Gowin, Nathan Lyons, and Tod Papageorge—as well as examples by prominent graduates from the Yale School of Art.

The collection is available to students and scholars through exhibitions and by appointment. Please email yuag.photo@yale.edu at least two weeks in advance to view original photographs. All appointment requests must be made in writing.

Note from the Curator

A recent gift of 27 photographs from Georgia and Michael de Havenon, B.A. 1962, feature artists and subjects from across Central and South America. The gift shows the wide variety of styles throughout the region, including early 20th-century documentary photography and studio portraiture, and comprises works by influential women photographers Fran Antmann, Flor Garduño, Graciela Iturbide, Mariana Yampolsky, which enhance the Gallery’s holdings of Latin American photography. Alongside works in the collection by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Sebastião Salgado, and Martin Weber, these photographs explore the often interconnected themes of gender, capitalism, indigeneity, spirituality, and the legacy of colonization.

Browse Works from the de Havenon Gift

Jenna Marvin

The Marcia Brady Tucker Fellow, Department of Photography

with Judy Ditner
The Richard Benson Associate Curator of Photography and Digital Media

Graciela Iturbide, Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas, Juchitán, Oaxaca(Our Lady of the Iguanas, Juchitán, Oaxaca), 1979. Gelatin silver print. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Georgia and Michael de Havenon, B.A. 1962, in honor of Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director, 1998–2018

Related Article

David Goldblatt: A Life in Photography

David Goldblatt: A Life in Photography

In 2018 the Gallery acquired an outstanding collection of over 700 photographs by the acclaimed South African photographer David Goldblatt (1930–2018), who devoted his life to documenting his country and its people. Known for his nuanced portrayals of life under apartheid—the official system of racial segregation against Black, “Colored,” and Asian populations instituted in South Africa by the country’s white minority between 1948 and 1989—Goldblatt covered a wide range of subjects, all intimately connected to his country’s history and politics.

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Meet the Curator

Judy Ditner

Judy Ditner is the Richard Benson Associate Curator of Photography and Digital Media. Her research interests in photography span the history of the medium, with emphases on documentary and conceptual practices. Ditner has worked on exhibitions for the International Center of Photography and the New Museum in New York, the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, and the Ryerson Image Center in Toronto. She holds a PH.D. in art history from Boston University with specializations in the history of photography and contemporary art, an M.A. in curatorial studies from Bard College, and a B.F.A. in photography from Ryerson University in Toronto.

judy.ditner@yale.edu

Download Judy Ditner’s CV
Judy Ditner

Meet the Fellow

Jenna Marvin

Jenna Marvin is the Marcia Brady Tucker Fellow, Department of Photography. Jenna earned a B.A. in Art History and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in the History of Art from Williams College and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She has held internships at the Clark Art Institute, the Speed Art Museum, in Louisville, Kentucky, and MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), in North Adams. In addition to performing collection-based research, Jenna coordinates and leads visits of the Gallery’s photography collection in the James E. Duffy Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs.

jenna.marvin@yale.edu

Jenna Marvin

Further Reading

Adams, Robert. The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs, 1964–2009. 3 vols. With essays by Joshua Chuang, Tod Papageorge, Jock Reynolds, and John Szarkowski. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011.

Adams, Robert. denver: A Photographic Survey of the Metropolitan Area, 1970–1974, rev. ed. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2009.

Adams, Robert. Sea Stories. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011.

Adams, Robert. This Day: Photographs from Twenty-Five Years, The Northwest Coast. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011.

Adams, Robert. Summer Nights, Walking. New Haven and New York: Yale University Art Gallery and Apreture, 2009.

Adams, Robert. What Can We Believe Where?: Photographs of the American West. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2010.

Adams, Robert. What We Bought: The New World—Scenes from the Denver Metropolitan Area, 1970–1974. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2009.

Anderson, Ash, Paul Katz, and Richard Benson. From Any Angle: Photographs from the Collection of Doris Bry, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008.

Chuang, Joshua. First Doubt: Optical Confusion in Modern Photography, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008.

Chuang, Joshua, ed. Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin: Photography at Yale (2006).

Cornell, Daniell. Alfred Stieglitz and the Equivalent: Reinventing the Nature of Photography, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1999.

Friedlander, Lee. In the Picture: Self Portraits, 1958–2011. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011.

Friedlander, Lee. JFK: A Photographic Memoir. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2013.

Friedlander, Lee. Playing for the Benefit of the Band: New Orleans Music Culture. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2013.

Lyons, Nathan. After 9/11: Photographs, exh. cat. With a poem by Marvin Bell. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2003.

Ranney, Edward. The Lines. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2014.

Reynolds, Jock. Emmet Gowin: Changing the Earth, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2002.

Ross, Judith Joy. Judith Joy Ross: Portraits of the Hazleton Public Schools, Hazleton, Pennsylvania: 1992–1994. With an essay by Jock Reynolds. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006.

Ruwedel, Mark. Westward the Course of Empire. With an essay by Jock Reynolds. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008.