William Johnson's Profile

About

William Johnson began teaching the history of photography at Harvard University in 1970 while working as a professional librarian there; and since then has taught and worked at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston College, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, and elsewhere.
He wrote W. Eugene Smith: Master of the Photographic Essay (Aperture); eight of the sixteen chapters in Photography from 1839 to today George Eastman House, Rochester, NY (Taschen); The Pictures Are A Necessity: Robert Frank in Rochester, NY November 1988 (George Eastman House), and the self-published Horses, Sea Lions, and Other Creatures: Robert Frank, Dave Heath, Robert Heinecken and John Wood, with Susan E. Cohen.
He has organized more than thirty exhibitions and is…

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  • Joined July 9, 2011

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About

William Johnson began teaching the history of photography at Harvard University in 1970 while working as a professional librarian there; and since then has taught and worked at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston College, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, and elsewhere.
He wrote W. Eugene Smith: Master of the Photographic Essay (Aperture); eight of the sixteen chapters in Photography from 1839 to today George Eastman House, Rochester, NY (Taschen); The Pictures Are A Necessity: Robert Frank in Rochester, NY November 1988 (George Eastman House), and the self-published Horses, Sea Lions, and Other Creatures: Robert Frank, Dave Heath, Robert Heinecken and John Wood, with Susan E. Cohen.
He has organized more than thirty exhibitions and is the author or contributor to more than fifteen exhibition checklists or catalogs, including a half-dozen or so on W. Eugene Smith, as well as ... one thing just sort of led to another ...The Photography of Todd Walker; Lucien Aigner's Paris; More Than Meets the Eye: Landscape Photography 1850 – 1910 and John Wood: On the Edge of Clear Meaning.
He has also published extensive bibliographies on the photographers Lucien Aigner, Eugene Atget, Carl Chiarenza, Walker Evans, Robert Heinecken, William H. Rau, W. Eugene Smith, Southworth & Hawes, Edward Weston, Whipple & Black, John Wood, and on the 1930s journal Photo Notes. He compiled and edited the annual International Photography Index (G. K. Hall & Co.) from 1977 to 1980 and also published Nineteenth-Century Photography: An Annotated Bibliography, 1839-1879. (G. K. Hall & Co.) Currently he is extending the range of Nineteenth-Century Photography: An Annotated Bibliography, 1839-1879 by compiling a large annotated bibliography of articles that indexes, annotates and excerpts articles from more than 800 periodical and newspaper titles published in America and Great Britain between 1835 and 1869.

Susie Cohen studied photographic history at Boston University where she received a MA in art history. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, the University of Arizona in Tucson, the Tyler College of Art in Philadelphia, and the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. Co-editor of Views magazine, and co-author of one thing just sort of led to another ...The Photography of Todd Walker; and Horses, Sea Lions, and Other Creatures: Robert Frank, Dave Heath, Robert Heinecken and John Wood, she also was a contributor to the annual International Photography Index (G. K. Hall & Co.) from 1977 to 1980. She organized the exhibition and catalog Time after Time, the photographs of Alice Wells and has published additional articles and essays on Robert Heinecken, John Wood, and others.

When we became involved in photography more than 40 years ago very few photographs were considered valuable. Many academic institutions threw away or destroyed entire collections of old photographs to make room for other priorities; or destroyed, against our advice and objections, old, faded, brown photographic prints when they obtained newer, “cleaner” copies. Or photographs would turn up in roadside flea-markets or junk stores maintained in less than favorable conditions. We never “collected” photographs, but we have “gathered” several thousand photographs over the years – often to preserve them from imminent destruction. There is a broader understanding today among interested individuals as to the value and range of the images and of the imagemakers who have made up the "history" of photography; and so it is time to return some of these photographs back to the world.

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