Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

John Szarkowski, 1925-2007


Photographer, curator and writer John Szarkowski, best known for bringing awareness and appreciation to the discipline as director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, passed away on July 7 at the age of 81. He died from complications related to a stroke.

Early in his career, Szarkowski won two Guggenheim grants for his photography, but focused most of his attention on his curatorial career.

His tenure at MOMA was from 1962 to 1991, during which he greatly expanded the museum's photo collections, rejuvenated the photo department's publishing efforts and oversaw 160 exhibitions of some of the most notable photographers in the industry's history, including major retrospectives of Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Szarkowski's books, which included "The Photographer's Eye" (1966), "Looking at Photographs" (1973) and "Photography Until Now" (1990), are regarded as classics.

After retiring from MOMA, Szarkowski took up photography again, which resulted in a retrospective of his own images that was shown in San Francisco in 2005 before touring widely. He also continued to curate numerous important exhibits into his retirement.