Webb, Todd 1905-2000
WEBB, Todd 1905-2000
PERSONAL: Born Charles Clayton Webb, September 15, 1905, in Detroit, MI; died, April 15, 2000, in Lewiston, ME; married Lucille Minqueau, 1949. Education: Attended University of Toronto, 1924-25; studied photography at Detroit Camera Club under Ansel Adams, 1940.
CAREER: Stockbroker, 1920s; freelance photographer, 1946-2000; Standard Oil Company, New York, NY, photographer 1947-49; United Nations, New York, NY, photographer, 1955-69. Exhibitions: Works included in permanent collections at the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; International Center of Photography, New York, NY; Westbrook College, Portland, ME; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; New York Public Library, New York, NY; Worcester Museum of Art, Worcester, MA; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX; New Mexico Museum, Santa Fe, NM; and Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France. Individual exhibitions include Museum of the City of New York, 1946; International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY, 1954; Maison de la Tour, St. Restitut, France, 1968; and Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO, 1986. Military service: U.S. Navy, 1942-45, South Pacific, photographers mate first class.
AWARDS, HONORS: Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography, 1955, 1956; National Endowment for the Arts photography fellowship, 1979.
Gold Strikes and Ghost Towns, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1961.
The Gold Rush Trail and the Road to Oregon, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1961.
Todd Webb: Photographs, Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth, TX), 1965, 1979.
Texas Homes of the Nineteenth Century, University of Texas (Austin, TX), 1966.
Texas Public Buildings of the Nineteenth Century, University of Texas (Austin, TX), 1974.
Georgia O'Keeffe: The Artist and Her Landscape, Twelvetrees Press (Pasadena, CA), 1984.
Photographs of New York and Paris 1946-1960, Hallmark Cards (Kansas City, MO), 1985.
Looking Back: Memoirs and Photographs, foreword by Michael Rowell, University of New Mexico Press (Albuquerque, NM), 1991.
SIDELIGHTS: Before becoming a photographer Todd Webb was a stockbroker. When he lost his earnings due to the stock market crash, he set off for California in 1929, and later to Panama, in search of gold. In Panama he became interested in photography. His interest continued when he returned to the United States, and in 1938 he joined the Detroit Camera Club and studied photography under Ansel Adams. Webb's first exhibition was in 1946 at the Museum of the City of New York, which brought him much popularity.
Webb took photographs all over the world, but he is mostly known for his photographs of New York City, Paris, and the American Southwest. He began keeping a journal in 1946, the same year of his first exhibit, and in his book Looking Back: Memoirs and Photographs he shares some of his journal entries and photographs. Included are daily activities, problems he encountered as a photographer, and personal stories about close friends such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Harry Callahan, and Nancy Newall. A PSA Journal contributor commented, "Through a lifetime dedicated to his medium, Todd Webb has achieved a prominent place in the history of American photography with his unique vision and universal appeal."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Photographers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Library Journal, June 1, 1997, Rosemary Arneson, review of Honest Vision: A Portrait of Todd Webb, p. 171.
PSA Journal, February, 1992, review of Looking Back:Memoirs and Photographs, p. 7.
Todd Webb Photographs Web site,http://www.toddwebbphotographs.com/ (May 2, 2002), "About Todd Webb."*
Art in America, June, 2000, p. 142.