Minor White, “Tom Murphy (San Francisco)”, 1948. Gelatin Silver Print
An influential figure in 20th-century American photography, Minor White first worked as a photographer for the WPA (Works Progress Administration) in Portland, Oregon in the 1930s. Following WWII, he moved to New York and began to associate with a circle that included Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz.
From Stieglitz, White learned the impact of sequencing images and “equivalents”—or visual metaphors—and increasingly trained his lens on subject matter traditionally considered mundane, like doorways or paint peeling from a wall. White is also known for his contemplative and tonally nuanced studies of landscapes, nudes, and forms. In 1946, he moved to San Francisco, where he would work closely with Ansel Adams and become a friend of Edward Weston, both of whom White counted as major influences on his work.