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Tucson's treasure house of photography.

The world's most comprehensive collection of 20th-century American photography lives in a three-story, 3.5-million center that opened in February on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson. For anyone interested in photography or photographers, the Center for Creative Photography is a mecca. The center houses 45,000 photographs representing the work of some 1,500 distinguished, primarily American photographers, from Richard Avedon to Edward Weston. Exhibits in its three galleries change about every six weeks and include works from the center's collection as well as traveling shows; themes shift from classic to contemporary, American artists to foreign artists, with up to 250 photographs displayed at a time. Private viewings of master prints, available to art scholars and amateurs alike, offer an incomparable chance for such intimacy with these works. Victor LaViola, curator of education for the center, is on hand to discuss topics from darkroom techniques to photography styles. You can also browse in the library among 10,000 photography books (many of them rare) and virtually every photography-related periodical published today. Or view some of the 750 videotapes of interviews with photographers. A gift shop sells cards, jewelry, posters, and publications (no master prints). Why all this photography in Tucson? The answer is simple: Tucson was the first city to offer a home for photographic archives not just prints but negatives and correspondence as well. In 1975, John Schaefer-devoted photographer and, at that time, president of the university-negotiated with Ansel Adams to purchase and provide a space for Adams' archives 40,000 negatives, 3,000 prints, and more than 100 shelf feet of correspondence and papers. Within a year, the university also acquired the archives of Wynn Bullock, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Frederick Sommer, and Paul Strand. The collection now includes the archives of Louise Dahl-Wolfe (Sports Illustrated and Harper's Bazaar), W. Eugene Smith and Andreas Feininger (Life), and Edward Weston, who originated the West Coast purist style in portraits and abstract landscapes. Fashion and portrait photographer Richard Avedon is the most recent to donate his archives. Getting there, arranging viewings The university is northeast of downtown Tucson. From Interstate 10, take Speedway Boulevard east to N. Park Avenue. Follow Park Avenue north to the new garage to park, then walk through the pedestrian tunnel under Speedway. The center is the second building south of the tunnel, in the university's fine arts complex. Hours are 10 to 5 Mondays through Fridays, noon to 5 Sundays (closed Saturdays). Admission is free. To arrange a private viewing of master prints for yourself or a group of up to 20 people, call the center one month ahead at (602) 621-7968. Viewing times are weekdays at 1, 2, and 3 Pm. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early to choose prints. The center's biannual Archive magazine ($14) publishes illustrated studies of individual photographers and trends. Copies of the magazine and exhibit schedules are sent free to members. To become a member ($25 a year), write to the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721. 1:1
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Title Annotation:Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson
Publication:Sunset
Date:Sep 1, 1990
Words:507
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