Biography of Wynn Bullock (1902-1975)

American photographer born in 1902 in Chicago and died in 1975 in Illinois.

His birth name was Percy Wingfield Bullock. He/She moved with his family from Chicago to California, South of Pasadena, in the year 1907. In 1925 he/she returned to change residence, Pasadena to New York, where he/she began his studies of music, song and languages to the year 1927; to expand his musical studies, the following year he/she traveled to Paris, from there went to Berlin and Milan, where he/she continued his training. In the early 1920s, and during these studies singing, worked in several music magazines.

During these travels in Europe he/she visited the museums in major cities, and was in Paris where he/she came to the world of impressionist painters and post-impressionism; There also discovered the world of photography: during his stay in that city was dedicated to create images in amateur quality.

In the first half of the Decade of the thirties, from 1931 until 1937, he/she lived in Virginia, where he/she dedicated himself to the business world as administrator of the property of his wife.

Did not begin serious studies on photography until after 1937, year where he/she met Edward Kaminski (Professor at the Central School of art in Los Angeles), who taught him the new experimental photographic techniques, and specifically the "solarization". His teachers in this area include Alfred Koryzbski, who instilled in him, between 1940 and 1941, their ideas about the processes of symbolization, László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray and Edward Weston; all they approached him to that world of experimental photography, which returned in 1957, after traversing a period at the end of the 1940s that carried out more direct images.

From 1942 he/she began working in Los Angeles commercial photographer doing portraits of study, work which continued as to the year 1946, even though it was a stage that was interrupted in 1943 by joining the United States Navy.

Work related to photography led him to Monterrey (California) in 1946, where he/she worked directly with the Fort Ord military base. Later dedicated themselves to publishing several books: The Nude and The Concepts and Principles of Wynn Bullock, among others. It was also devoted to teaching at the Institute of design in Chicago, from Santa Clara University in California and at San Francisco State College. Between 1968 and 1970 was President and Manager of the Committee of exhibitions of the friends of photography in Carmel, California.

Bullock is considered to be one of the best theoreticians of photography. His theories on space and time, the visual experience of contemplation of the environment which is reflected in the image, as well as the taste for the representation of human in half of the vast and extensive American landscapes, are reflected in all his work and earned him, in 1957, a medal at the International Salon of photography and the national for his contribution recognition that professional photography was considered art.

In 1955 he/she participated in the exhibition organized by Edward Steichen at the MOMA in New York, The Family of Men, in which all the current humanist photographers were gathered. Previously, in 1941, already had presented his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles; from this emerged others in the Royal Photographic Society of London, at the MOMA in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco Museum of art.

In terms of work related to the world of cinema, he/she was the protagonist of two documentaries and is related to the exploration of the philosophical meaning of the images both in the field and in the photography.

Bullock images are considered to be a testimony of his time and a meditation on the passage of time and the relativity of things.


Wynn Bullock: Photography. A Way of Life. New York: Dobbs Ferry, 1973.