Larry Sultan

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Larry Sultan
Born July 13, 1946
Brooklyn, New York City
Died December 13, 2009
Greenbrae, Marin County, California
Cause of death
Education University of California, Santa Barbara
San Francisco Art Institute
Occupation Photographer, professor
Spouse(s) Katherine Sultan

Larry Sultan (1946-2009) was an American photographer from the San Fernando Valley in California. He taught at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1978 to 1988 and at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco 1989 to 2009. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, his work is exhibited in museums in the United States.


Early life[edit]

Larry Sultan was born on July 13, 1946 in New York City.[1][2][3] He grew up in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles, California, where his parents moved as he was an infant.[1][2] He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, and received a Master's in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco.[1][3][4]


He started his career in the 1970s as a conceptual photographer.[2] In 1977, he published a collection of photographs he found in corporate and government archives called "Evidence" with fellow photographer Mike Mandel.[1][2] The New York Times characterized them as "a watershed in the history of art photography."[1] The two men also created billboards aimed at slowing down road traffic.[1][2] He then published Pictures From Home, a collection of photographs taken of his parents in the San Fernando Valley from 1982 to 1992, whose role was to question societal expectations of gender and aging.[2] His 2004 assignment for Maxim, which consisted of photographs of middle-class residences rented by the porn industry in the San Fernandino Valley, led to another photographic series called The Valley.[1][2] He photographed Paris Hilton for Interview in his parents's bedroom in his childhood home.[2]

He was an Instructor of Photography at his alma mater, the San Francisco Art Institute, from 1978 to 1988.[3] He then taught at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco as Chair of the Photography Department from 1993 to 1999, and as Distinguished Professor of Art from 1989 to 2009.[1][3][4] He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.[4] He also received a Louis Tiffany Comfort Award, and a Fleishhacker Fellowship.[4] He served on the Board of Trustees of the Headlands Center for the Arts from 1992 to 1998.[3]

His work can be seen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Tate Modern.[4] From December 2014 to March 2015, it can also be seen at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Katherine Sultan, also known as Kelly Sultan.[1]


He died of cancer on December 13, 2009 in Greenbrae, California.[1]



External links[edit]