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Photography great Nathan Lyons has died


Internationally renowned photographer, curator, educator, author, and editor Nathan Lyons died Wednesday after succumbing to pneumonia. He was 86.

Throughout his life, Lyons made enormous contributions to photography as well as to the discussion surrounding the medium. He exhibited his work extensively, and his art is collected by numerous institutions around the world. He is best known for his stark black and white images of the urban landscape, each one a showcase of his philosophic mind.

Lyons served as the curator of photography and an associate director at George Eastman Museum from 1961 to 1969, when he resigned and founded the independent Visual Studies Workshop. He also founded and served as first chairman of the Society for Photographic Education and initiated the founding of Oracle, an annual meeting of photographic curators.

In 2000 Lyons received the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in New York City for lifetime achievement in photography. He was Distinguished Professor Emeritus at SUNY Brockport.

A public memorial celebration of Lyons will be held at Visual Studies Workshop; details to be announced. A retrospective exhibition of his work has been in the works at George Eastman Museum, and will open in the summer of 2018.