Yale University

Lee Friedlander Archive Acquired by Yale


Yale University Art Gallery and Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book Library will be the permanent home for the largest archive of work by Lee Friedlander. This collection includes negatives, letters, journals, 40,000 contact sheets of his life’s work, and a selection of 2,000 images of the most recent bodies of work from the last twenty years. Within this selection is a master print of every image from every book published since 1996, including Lee Friedlander: New Mexico by Radius. The archive will be an invaluable resource to the scholars, faculty and students able to see first hand the workings of Friedlander not only as a photographer, but as a rigorous editor and printer.

“Friedlander’s pictures from the past two decades playfully exploit the medium’s still-thrilling ability to create fresh and unexpected relationships out of the things we see every day,” observes Joshua Chuang, the Yale Art Gallery’s assistant curator of photographs. “Even if you think you’ve seen it all, they make it easy to become ecstatic about the possibilities of photography all over again.”


Long considered an American legend, Friedlander was the subject of a major traveling retrospective and catalog organized by the Museum of Modern Art in 2005. The Friedlander archive will join the library’s extensive collection of American photography, from such masters as Carleton Watkins, Timothy O’Sullivan, Alfred Stieglitz, Carl Van Vechten, David Plowden, Carl Mydans, Robert Adams, and Eve Arnold.

Lee Friedlander: New Mexico is officially out-of-print, but photo-eye Books still has a few copies here.