Minor White, “Tom Murphy (San Francisco)”, 1948, Gelatin Silver Print from the Series “The temptation of Saint Anthony is Mirrors”
Minor Martin White was an photographer, theoretician, critic and educator. He combined an intense interest in how people viewed and understood photographs with a personal vision that was guided by a variety of spiritual and intellectual philosophies.
Starting in Oregon in 1937 and continuing until he died in 1976, Minor White made thousands of black-and-white and color photographs of landscapes, people and abstract subject matter, created with both technical mastery and a strong visual sense of light and shadow.
Minor White taught many classes, workshops and retreats on photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, California School of Fine Arts, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in his own home. He lived much of his life as a closeted gay man, afraid to express himself publicly for fear of loss of his teaching jobs. Some of White’s most compelling images are figure studies of men whom he taught or with whom he had relationships.