Posts Tagged ‘photography schools’

Minor White-Philip Hyde Letters 2

October 25th, 2011

Minor White Letters To Philip Hyde 2

(Continued from the blog post, “Minor White-Philip Hyde Letters 1.”)

Minor White’s Letters And The San Francisco Art Institute

Piers, San Francisco Waterfront, Bay Bridge, San Francisco Bay, City of San Francisco, California, copyright 1948 by Philip Hyde.

(See the photograph large: “Piers, San Francisco Waterfront, California.”)

Philip Hyde first met Minor White in the 1946 Photography Summer Session taught by Ansel Adams at the world-renowned California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute. Ansel Adams soon after made Minor White lead instructor of his photography program at the San Francisco Art Institute. Ansel Adams’ photography program was the first of all photography schools to teach creative photography as a full-time profession. Philip Hyde enrolled in the full time day student photography course taught by Minor White in 1947 and earned his certificate of completion in the Spring of 1950. The letter correspondence between Philip Hyde and Minor White began shortly after in May 1950. The letters of Minor White to Philip Hyde are clearly responses to letters from Philip Hyde to Minor White. However, the first three letters from Philip Hyde to Minor White appear to be missing. For more related background on Minor White, Alfred Stieglitz, Philip Hyde, Ansel Adams and other points in the history of photography see the blog post, “Minor White–Philip Hyde Letters.”


Minor White’s Letter To Philip Hyde

(From Philip Hyde’s correspondence file with Minor White. Permissions in process from the Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey, copyright by the Trustees of Princeton University?)


13  July  1950

Dear EXTATIC Youse Both,

The voice of the Junipers

Articulate the stars

You the words and the wisdom of the moon over sleeping bags


You sure have it bad.

And so I shall leave it to youth and vinegar – the whole outdoors. Otherwise I should enjoy a night or two contemplating nature – I think some of the the sting of camping out is slowly going away – not so much that I plan on doing anything about it, but it is going. And I trust that is of great comfort to you.

Your letters to Duggins – great stuff. I was feeling mean the other morning so wrote a letter to above twerp also. And my answer was interesting – he wanted to know what I meant by “creative photography” and who the big names of the state were and who ought to be nominated for judges. And he mentioned that a couple of other SFers [People attending or graduated from photography schools in San Francisco, in those days essentially California School of Fine Arts students.] gave him the impression that Salon stuff was considered the rankest of amateurism. Not bad – in fact I loved it. So you were one of the SFers. Whoops!

The wording and quiet tone of explanation is just plain good. Keep it up.

I expect to answer the required info very soon. Judges is a hard one. In fact outside of some class mates I don’t know of any competent ones in town.

Summer Session is in the midst of utmost confusion. I am shooting five days a week – though only a few hours each day, running film at night and letting the negs pile up unprinted till it scares me. All over town, landscapes, fog, industry, people – anything that gets in the way that I can get. Even the cable car on Market Street. And incidentally I am feeling much better.

But hardly EXTATIC.


Minor [Hand written signature]

Do you agree with or apply Minor White’s approach to photographing, “All over town, landscapes, fog, industry, people – anything that gets in the way…”?

(Continued in the blog post, “Minor White-Philip Hyde Letters 3.”)