Minor White

American (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1908 - 1976, Boston, Massachusetts)

Minor White taught at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) for only seven years, from 1946 to 1953, but his impact on photography in the Bay Area was profound and sustained. A native of Minnesota who spent the bulk of his career in Rochester, New York, White was perhaps his generation's most influential teacher, mentor, and writer about the medium. Art was a quasi-religious dedication for White, who saw photography as a means of tapping into deep, spiritual realms of the human psyche. He exhorted his students, as well as readers of the magazine Aperture, which he cofounded in 1952 and edited for 23 years, to use photography to express and explore their inner selves.


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

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