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Oral history interview with Todd Webb, 1990 September 4-1992 May 22

Webb, Todd, 1905-2000



Collection Information

Size: 57 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 32 min.

Summary: An interview of Todd Webb conducted 1990 September 4-1992 May 22, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art. Webb speaks of his childhood in Detroit and Ontario, Canada; friendship with photographer Harry Callahan and the influence of a course by Ansel Adams on them both; service as a Navy photographer in World War II; development of a close friendship with Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe during the late 1940s; photographic assignments with FORTUNE magazine for Standard Oil Company under Roy Stryker, and in England and France under Rene Leonhardt, a photo agency; writing and photographic essays on the American West; assignments in 1960s for the United Nations; sale, in the 1970s, of negatives and work to date to the collector George Rinhart; residence in Maine; and his frequent travels.

Biographical/Historical Note

Todd Webb (1905-2000) was a photographer and writer from Bath, Maine. Born Charles Clayton Webb III, in Detroit, Michigan, in 1905. Studied with Ansel Adams.


These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Todd Webb, 1990 September 4-1992 May 22. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.