Pultz, John Francisco 1952-

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PULTZ, John Francisco 1952-


Born September 9, 1952 in Columbus, OH; son of Frederick Dickinson and Frances Lynn (Ross) Pultz; married Susan Elizabeth Earle, November 12, 1988; children: Ian McCollam Pultz-Earle. Education: Amherst College, B.A., 1974; Williams College, M.A., 1981; New York University Institute of Fine Arts, Ph.D., 1993.


Office—University of Kansas, Spencer Museum of Art, Room 200C, 1301 Mississippi St., Lawrence, KS 66045-7500; fax: 785-864-5091. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Yale University Press, P.O. Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520-9040. E-mail—[email protected]


University of Kansas, assistant professor, 1992-1998, associate professor, graduate advisor, and director of graduate admissions, Kress Foundation Department of Art History, 1999—. Bard College, visiting assistant professor, 1986; Kean College, instructor, 1991; New York University, instructor, 1992. Museum of Modern Art, Department of Photography, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall curatorial fellow, 1981-84; J. Paul Getty Museum, Department of Photographs, consultant, 1985; Denver Art Museum, consulting curator of photography and new media, 2001-02; University of Kansas, Spencer Museum of Art, curator of photography, 1992—.


College Art Association.


National Endowment for the Arts, summer stipend award, 1995.


(With Catherine B. Scallen) Cubism and American Photography, 1910-1930 (exhibition catalog), Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, MA), 1981.

The Body and the Lens: Photography 1839 to the Present, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Anthony W. Lee) Dian Arbus: Family Albums, Yale University Press, (New Haven, CT) 2003.

Contributor to volumes such as A Personal Vision: Photographs in the Collection of Paul F. Walter (exhibition catalog), The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), 1985; Ansel Adams/New Light: Essays on His Legacy and His Legend, Friends of Photography (San Francisco, CA), 1993; Our Town on the Plains: J. J. Pennell's Photographs of Junction City, Kansas, James R. Shortridge, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2000; The Oxford Companion to the Body, edited by Colin Blakemore, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2001; and West Point/Points West, Denver Art Museum, Institute of Western American Art (Denver, CO), 2002.

Curator of numerous exhibitions and installations, including Diane Arbus, Family Albums, with Anthony W. Lee, 2003, "Remembering 9/11: The World Trade Center in Photographs," 2002, "Cindy Sherman: Selections from the Eli Broad Family Foundation Collection," with Erin Barnett, 1999, "Western Waters: Photographs of Gregory Conniff, Terry Evans, and Wanda Hammerbeck," 1996, "The Body and the Lens: Photography 1839 to Present," 1995, "Land and Its Uses: Photographs from the Collection," 1994, "A Survey of the History of Photography from the Collection," 1993, and "Photographs by Gordon Parks," 1993, all Spencer Museum of Art; Metamorphosis: Modernist Photographs by Herbert Bayer and Man Ray, 2002, Denver Art Museum; "BIG PICTURES by Contemporary Photographers," with Joan Szarkowski, 1983, Museum of Modern Art; and "Cubism and American Photography," with Catherine Scallen, 1981, Clark Art Institute.


A writer, art historian, and photography expert, John Francisco Pultz has authored or contributed to several books and exhibition catalogs on photography and prominent photographers. Pultz has also been curator of several exhibitions and collections of photography at museums such as the Denver Art Museum, where he managed a collection of more than 4,000 individual items and derived exhibitions from the collection.

Pultz contributed the introductory essay to J. J. Pennell's Photographs of Junction City, Kansas, 1893-1922, a collection of photographs by early photographer Pennell. His prominence as a photographer, combined with owning the best-equipped studio in the state, allowed Pennell to thoroughly document the public life and citizens of Junction City and neighboring Fort Riley during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Pultz's essay covers Pennell's work and career during the zenith of studio photography in the region.

In collaboration with Anthony W. Lee, Pultz assembled and provided the text for Diane Arbus: Family Albums. Arbus is best known for her photographs of people and subjects at the margins of society: outcasts, circus performers, nudists, the homeless, the psychologically challenged, and others. In Family Albums, however, Arbus's work focuses on actor, producer, and theater owner Konrad Matthaei and his family, a prominent, wealthy clan from New York. The book includes more than 320 images, better-known portraits of the family as well as an extensive selection of previously unknown photographs. A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that "the authors print the contact sheets in their original form and provide details on the shoot," and reproductions of finished prints help illustrate the effort and art that Arbus put into her work. The reviewer also observed that "the more natural, unposed shots of the Matthaei family seem genuinely warm." The stiffer posed shots, however, display the unnatural positioning and almost dehumanizing effect of formal photography of the day. The book offers "a new perspective," commented Library Journal reviewer Douglas Smith, that will expand Arbus's "reputation beyond that of an illuminator of social marginalia."



Denver Post, August 8, 2001, Kyle MacMillan, "New People New Duties in Museum's Modern Art Department," p. F3.

Library Journal, January, 2004, Douglas Smith, review of Diane Arbus: Family Albums, p. 98.

Publishers Weekly, September 8, 2003, review of Diane Arbus: Family Albums, p. 72.*