Minor White

Minor Martin White ( born July 9, 1908 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, † June 24, 1976 in Boston, Massachusetts) was a noted American photographer, influential teacher, intellectual, and spiritual "guru" of a whole generation of photographers, in particular for dissemination and consistent development of Symbolist aesthetics of his compatriot Alfred Stieglitz (so designated by the " Equivalents " ) attended.


Minor White's photographic concerns arose during his studies of botany at the University of Minnesota when he made photomicrographic black and white plant images. The abstract formal and emotional expressiveness of their natural context deprived plants fascinated him visibly. They formed the core of his later work with the camera, which is for him a controlled from the inner imagination and feelings of the photographer Image tool and their task is to this inner world into objects in the real, visible world ( "equivalents" ) capture and photographically to symbolize.

From 1937, White began to photograph professionally. He first worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA ) in Portland (Oregon ). While most photographers who worked for the WPA, mainly devoted to the documentary photography, White preferred a more personal approach. Many of these photographs were shown in 1941 in one of the first major photographic exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art.

During the Second World War, White served in the U.S. Army. In 1945 he moved to New York, where he became friends with the influential photographer Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz led him to develop his own distinctive style and drew his attention to the expressive possibilities of serial photography. In the aftermath White arranged his photographs with accompanying texts in order to create different moods, emotions and associations in the viewer. He focused on the expressive possibilities of conventional still photography also. From Stieglitz, he also took over the concept of " Equivalents ", the correspondences in which a photographic image is to be a visual metaphor at the same time.

1946 White moved to San Francisco, where he worked with Ansel Adams, who introduced him to the zone system. Adams led to this point, the newly established photographic department at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute, the teaching was, however, to lack of time and chose White as his successor. At this time, White became friends with Edward Weston, who inspired him to create a realistic imagery. White sat down also with spiritual content in his photography apart and took over this idea of ​​Zen philosophy, which his works enriched by a mysterious aspect.

In 1952 White returned to New York, where he became editor, founded in the same year photography magazine Aperture. White edited the magazine until 1975. From 1953 to 1957 he was also editor of Image, the house magazine of the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, for which he worked as a curator.

The late 1950s, White traveled across the United States. In the early 1960s he began experimenting with color photography. In 1965 he settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he became professor of creative photography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1969 he published with Mirrors, Messages, Manifestations, in which he devoted himself to the shooting, one of his most famous picture books.

In 1978, posthumous Minor White: Rites and Passages with excerpts from White's diaries and letters, as well as a biographical essay by James Baker Hall. Among the most educated in Whites photographer Abe Frajndlich heard.