Center for Creative Photography
Front of building
Backstory and Context
In the early 1970s, President of the University of Arizona, John P. Schaefer, felt that photography was central to the culture of the times, and that it was key to the era’s art and literature. With this in mind, President Schaefer sought out photographer Ansel Adams and proposed that Ansel display some of his works as a collection at the University. Adams was hesitant about the suggestion of displaying solely his own work, and instead suggested that he would consider the opportunity if it were to include other photographers.
Deeper conversations about the possibility of founding such a center began in 1974, during which time Schaefer and Adams discussed the possibility of not just displaying photography, but of including teaching programs, seminars, archives, inviting guest speakers, and an overall dedication to collecting and preserving photographs. It did not take long for these talks to take off, and Adams soon assembled a number of other photographers interested in the center. By 1975, the Center for Creative Photography was established on the University of Arizona’s campus. Today, the CCP continues to present opportunities to visitors, scholars, and budding photographers alike, and continues to expand its collection and broaden its horizons.
In 2006, the Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography inaugurated a highly innovative and unprecedented collaboration to bring the finest in photography to Phoenix Art Museum visitors. It established a vibrant new photography exhibition program at the Museum, while bringing the Center's world-renowned collections to new and larger audiences.