Larry Sultan

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Larry Sultan
BornJuly 13, 1946
Brooklyn, New York, US
DiedDecember 13, 2009(2009-12-13) (aged 63)
EducationUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
San Francisco Art Institute
OccupationPhotographer, professor
Spouse(s)Katherine Sultan

Larry Sultan (July 13, 1946 – December 13, 2009) was an American photographer from the San Fernando Valley in California.[1] 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.[1]

Sultan's books include Evidence (1977) with Mike Mandel, Pictures From Home (1992) and The Valley (2004). A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, his work is exhibited in museums in the United States.

Life and work[edit]

Sultan was born on July 13, 1946 in New York City.[2][3][4] He grew up in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles, California,[1] where his parents moved when he was an infant.[2][3] He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in political science, and received a master's in fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute[5] in San Francisco.[2][4][6]

He started his career in the 1970s as a conceptual photographer.[3] In 1977, he published a collection of photographs he found in corporate and government archives called Evidence with fellow photographer Mike Mandel.[2][3] The New York Times characterized Evidence as "a watershed in the history of art photography."[2] The two men also created billboards aimed at slowing down road traffic.[2][3] He then published Pictures From Home, a collection of photographs taken of his parents in the San Fernando Valley from 1982 to 1992,[7] whose role was to question societal expectations of gender and aging.[3] 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.[2][3] He photographed Paris Hilton for Interview in his parents' bedroom in his childhood home.[3]

Sultan was an instructor of photography at his alma mater, the San Francisco Art Institute, from 1978 to 1988.[4] 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.[2][4][6]

He served on the Board of Trustees of the Headlands Center for the Arts from 1992 to 1998.[4] At the time of his death he was the artist trustee at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a position he had taken up in the same year.[8]

He was married to Katherine Sultan, also known as Kelly Sultan.[2] He died of cancer on December 13, 2009 at his home in Greenbrae, California.[2]


  • How to Read Music in One Evening. Self-published, 1974. Collaboration with Mike Mandel.
  • Evidence. Self-published, 1977. Collaboration with Mike Mandel.
    • Evidence. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2003. ISBN 1-891024-62-0. Reprint.
  • Headlands: The Marin Coast at the Golden Gate. University of New Mexico, 1989. Collaboration with Miles DeCoster, Mark Klett, Mike Mandel and Paul Metcalf. ISBN 978-0826311528.
  • Pictures From Home. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992. ISBN 0-8109-3721-2.
  • The Valley. Scalo, 2004. ISBN 3-908247-79-9.
  • Katherine Avenue. Göttingen: Steidl, 2010.
  • Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König / Distributed Art Publishers, 2012. ISBN 978-1935202820.
  • Larry Sultan: Here and Home. New York: Prestel USA, 2014.



Solo exhibitions[edit]

Group exhibitions[edit]


Sultan's work is held in the following permanent collections:


  1. ^ a b c d e f Riefe, Jordan (3 May 2017). "Larry Sultan: the artist-in-residence for America's middle-class suburbia". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Randy Kennedy, Larry Sultan, California Photographer, Dies at 63, The New York Times, December 14, 2009
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Avishay Artsy, Larry Sultan: Finding beauty photographing the mundane, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 5, 2014
  4. ^ a b c d e "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 12, 2009. Retrieved January 5, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Larry Sultan : CV". Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  6. ^ a b "Larry Sultan - California College of the Arts". California College of the Arts. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  7. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (2 May 2017). "Pictures from Home by Larry Sultan review – when Mom and Dad lived the dream". The Observer. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  8. ^ "SFMOMA mourns Larry Sultan". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 16 December 2009. Accessed 30 May 2017
  9. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation - Larry Sultan". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Eureka Fellowship Program :: Past Grantees :: 1990". The Fleishhacker Foundation. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  11. ^ "1999 Billenium Competition Artists Awards : 1991 Winners". The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Larry Sultan's Homeland: American Story - Amon Carter Museum of American Art". Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Larry Sultan: Here and Home - LACMA". Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Larry Sultan: Here & Home, on view at the Milwaukee Art Museum from October 23, 2015–January 24. 2016". Milwaukee Art Museum. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  15. ^ Museum History: Timeline", San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as retrieved by the Wayback Machine on October 22, 2008. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  16. ^ "Pier 24 Collection : Here". Pier 24 Photography. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  17. ^ "About Face - Pier 24". Pier 24 Photography. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Secondhand at Pier 24 Photography". 7 January 2015. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  19. ^ "Pier 24 Collection : Pilara Foundation Collection". Pier 24 Photography. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Archived from the original on August 16, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]