Dane studied political science and art at the University of California, Berkeley, obtaining a master's degree in painting in 1968. He painted for seven years before taking up photography after his studio and all of his paintings were destroyed in a fire. In 1969 he began sending black-and-white photographic postcards to friends and acquaintances, building an audience while circumventing and subverting the gallery system. Despite becoming an internationally exhibited and collected artist in the Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand tradition of American street photography, he continued to be generous with his work: over time he sent some 50,000 photo postcards before turning in 2007 to the Internet as a venue for making his body of work available to the public. Dane taught art in the Berkeley Public Schools for three decades.
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