U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Phil Davis

Phil Davis

I've just received word that Phil Davis passed away at his home in Webster Township, Michigan yesterday, July 2.

Retired from the University of Michigan as Professor of Art in 1985, Phil was best known to the photography community for his photography text books as well as his Beyond The Zone System books and workshops. Tremendously generous and intelligent, he has taught so many of us not just how to practice photography but also how to live.

As one of the early "alt" process users, Phil received two Horace H. Rackham Foundation grants, in 1967 and in 1974 for investigation of historical photographic processes. He was known to have used a rusty nail to coat platinum to prove false the old belief that metal ferrule would ruin platinum. He did extensive research before printing a limited edition of platinum prints from noted cinematographer Karl Struss' original glass negatives. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including those of the Detroit Art Institute, Chicago Art Institute, International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, and the Museum of Modern Art.

He will be missed.

Sam Wang