Learning About the World
begins with recording an image, but it is not finished until I have
made a fine print. That is my photograph," says documentary
photographer George Zimbel '51, whose activities within the
field of photography are extensive.
from acting as a photographic consultant for the Educational
Facilities Laboratories of the Ford Foundation in the '60s to
serving on the Canada Council National Photography Jury in the
early '90s. Though his interest in photography began in high
school, it was his experience at New York's Photo League in 1949
that he credits with laying the foundations for basic photographic
techniques, such as developing and making prints-skills he still
practices. At Columbia, he served as city editor and photographer
for Spectator, and in his sophomore year, one of his
photographs was featured in Life.
"You have to
know about the world before you can photograph it intellectually,"
says Zimbel, citing his studies with such Columbia professors as
Charles Van Doren GSAS '59 and Charles Frankel '37 as "an absolute
turning point of my life." Upon graduation, he won a scholarship to
the Alexy Brodevitch workshop at the New School in New York, after
which he embarked upon an illustrious career both in the U.S. and
in Canada, where he was featured in several nationwide exhibits. He
eventually became a Canadian citizen.
works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the
International Center of Photography in New York, the Houston Museum
of Fine Arts, the Musée du Quebec, and the Canadian Museum of
Contemporary Photography, among others.
de Arte Moderno in Valencia, Spain, noted for its collections of
twentieth century photography, is featuring a major retrospective
of Zimbel's work, including some from his College days, from
January 20 to March 26.