The Jack Welpott Legacy Trust Donates Archives to the University of Arizona

February 20,2012

The Jack Welpott Legacy Trust is pleased to announce the donation of the Jack Welpott Archives to The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.

Press Release:

Center for Creative Photography Acquires the Jack Welpott Archive

Press Contact: 520-621-7968,

Tucson, AZ – February 1, 2012 – The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona Libraries is pleased to announce that it has acquired the photographic archive of internationally renowned artist Jack Welpott.

“We are thrilled that the Jack Welpott Legacy Trust has chosen the Center for Creative Photography as the permanent home for the Welpott archive,” comments Katharine Martinez, the Center’s director. “Welpott was an accomplished photographer and a key member of the rich community of artists in the San Francisco Bay Area during the second half of the 20th century. His archive will allow researchers, curators and photographers to better understand his career, as well as his pivotal role as a teacher and mentor.”

Born in Kansas City, Kan., Jack Welpott (1923-2007) grew up in Bloomington, Ind. He learned about photography as a boy by watching his uncle in the darkroom, and began taking pictures by the time he was 12. Following service in the U.S. Army Air Forces, Welpott earned a bachelor’s degree in economics the University of Indiana, Bloomington on the GI Bill. He then studied photography under Henry Holmes Smith and painting under Leon Golub and Harry Engle, receiving a master’s degree in visual communication in 1955. Welpott completed a Master of Fine Arts in photography and painting in 1959, getting to know classmates Jerry Uelsmann and Van Deren Coke in the process.

Upon graduation, Welpott was hired by John Gutmann to teach photography in the Art Department at San Francisco State College, now San Francisco State University, where he made significant contributions to the field of photographic education over the next 33 years. In the early 1960s, when few photography courses were offered, Welpott established a graduate program, and taught one of the first history of photography courses at the college level. A number of his students have had successful photographic careers including Michael Bishop, Judy Dater, Harvey Himelfarb, Leland Rice, Catherine Wagner, and John Spence Weir.

Welpott’s photographs are found in some of the most important photographic collections in the world including the Getty Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.

The Jack Welpott Archive is comprised of the photographer’s negatives, proof prints, contact sheets, correspondence, and documentation which chronicle Welpott’s more than 50-year career in photography. Additionally, the Jack Welpott photographic collection has been established with an initial purchase and gift of prints from the Jack Welpott Legacy Trust, bringing the Center’s current holding of his fine prints to fifty. Additional gifts and purchases over the coming years will enrich the Welpott holdings, ultimately numbering nearly 200 prints.

Norton Family Curator, Rebecca Senf, worked closely with the Welpott Trust to bring the archive and collection to the Center. Senf commented, “Our collection of prints, along with the rich archival holdings, will allow a deeper understanding of Welpott’s significant contributions to the medium. Variants, vintage prints, and lesser known subjects will offer scholars, curators and photographers a unique chance to appreciate the diversity and high level of accomplishment that marked Welpott’s long career.”

Welpott’s biography and fine prints in the Center’s collection can be seen at: Additional information about Jack Welpott is available at the Jack Welpott Legacy Trust website,

About the Center for Creative Photography

The Center for Creative Photography, part of the University Libraries at the University of Arizona, holds more archives and individual works by 20th-century North American photographers than any other archive in the world. The archives of over 60 major American photographers—including Ansel Adams, Harry Callahan, W. Eugene Smith, Edward Weston, and Garry Winogrand—form the core of a collection numbering over 90,000 works. The Center for Creative Photography has an integrated program of preservation, access, and education that celebrates the history of photography and its contemporary practice.

For More Information: 520-621-7968 or

Gallery Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am to 5 pm; weekends, 1 pm to 4 pm

Admission: Center for Creative Photography exhibitions, print room viewings, and education events are always FREE and open to the public.

Location: The CCP is located on the University of Arizona campus, Fine Arts Complex, 1030 N. Olive Rd., Tucson, AZ.

Parking: Parking is available at the Park Avenue Garage at the NE corner of Park and Speedway Blvd. The pedestrian underpass gives you direct access to the CCP. Parking directly behind the CCP (off 2nd Street) is free after 5 pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

A Tribute: The Photography of Jack Welpott

February 19,2012

Smith Andersen North is pleased to announce a new exhibition of photographs by Jack Welpott

A Tribute: The Photography of Jack Welpott

July 20 – August 25, 2010

Please join us for a reception:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 14 from 6 – 9PM

Smith Andersen North

20 Greenfield Avenue

San Anselmo

Jack Welpott is one of the great photographers and teachers of the post-World War II generation. In 1988 the critic Joan Murray wrote, Welpott has produced a powerful body of work over a lifetime in photography. Major recognition of his work, however, always seems to have eluded him. As I looked at the individual images in this exhibition, I wondered if it is possible that his problem is that he does too much too well. There are formal landscapes that rival those of any of the major landscape artists.*

With A Tribute: The Photography of Jack Welpott, Smith Andersen North celebrates his career with a show of over 40 original silver gelatin prints. Jack Welpott was born in Kansas City, KS, on April 27, 1923 and was educated at primary and secondary schools in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. He learned photography from watching his uncle in the darkroom when he was a nine, and began taking “serious” pictures by the time he was twelve. In 1949, he earned his BS in Economics from the University of Indiana, Bloomington. He studied photography under Henry Homes Smith, painting under Leon Golub and Harry Engle, and design with George

Rickey and received his MS in Visual Communication in 1955. Jack completed his MFA in photography and painting in 1959 and began a thirty-year teaching career at San Francisco State University as he pursued his career as a professional photographer.

Welpott enjoyed the challenges presented by working with available light, and his mastery of the black-and-white medium enabled him to work expressively in a wide variety of conditions. Of darkroom work, he said, “I firmly believe that if you want to do the very best work possible, you have to take responsibility for the whole process-front to back.” In his artist statement, he further articulated his relationship to b&w photography:

"I like the process. The way in which it holds together opposites: light and dark, beautiful and ugly, sublime and banal. To make a photograph as honestly as one can generates artifacts that bear witness to ones personal truth. I like the way it locks you into the moment, the eternal present…Perhaps none of this is very useful in looking at my work. The only advice I can give was offered by Minor White, “Look at it not for what it is, but for what else it is.”

In 1973 Welpott was the recipient of the Medal of Arles, France; later a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1973; and, in 1983, a Polaroid grant in association with the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego.

Jack Welpott passed away in November 23, 2007, at the age of 84. His photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum, New York; International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Art Institute of Chicago; Center of Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Norton Simon Art Museum, Pasadena, CA; Oakland Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

*”Images of Ambiguity” Artweek (ISSN 004-4121) v19 Sept 24 1988, P. 11

For additional information, please contact Jennifer O’Keeffe at 415 455 9733,

or email


December 10,2015

This section will be updated shortly with past publications.

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Women and Other Visions, 1975.