Ray Metzker

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Ray Metzker
Ray Metzker.png
Born(1931-09-10)September 10, 1931
DiedOctober 9, 2014(2014-10-09) (aged 83)
EducationInstitute of Design in Chicago
AwardsRoyal Photographic Society Honorary Fellowship

Ray K. Metzker (September 10, 1931 – October 9, 2014) was an American photographer known chiefly for his bold, experimental B&W cityscapes and for his large "composites", assemblages of printed film strips and single frames.[1] His work is held in various major public collections and is the subject of eight monographs. He received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation,[2] National Endowment for the Arts[3][4] and Royal Photographic Society.[5]

Life and work[edit]

Metzker was born in Milwaukee and lived in Philadelphia from the 1960s until his death. He was married to the photographer Ruth Thorne-Thomsen.

He was a student of Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at the Institute of Design in Chicago. He taught for many years at the Philadelphia College of Art and[6] also taught at the University of New Mexico.

After graduate studies at the Institute of Design in Chicago, Metzker travelled extensively throughout Europe in 1960-61, where he had two epiphanies: that "light" would be his primary subject, and that he would seek synthesis and complexity over simplicity. Metzker often said the artist begins his explorations by embracing what he doesn't know.

Metzker died on October 9, 2014.[7]



Metzker's work is held in the following public collections:[6][better source needed]


  1. ^ Stone, Mee-Lai (3 February 2021). "New ways of seeing: the abstract genius of Ray K Metzker – in pictures". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2021-12-22.
  2. ^ a b "All Fellows". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Annual Report 1975" (PDF). National Endowment for the Arts. p. 97. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 December 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Annual Report 1988" (PDF). National Endowment for the Arts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 December 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Award". Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  6. ^ a b Salisbury, Stephan (October 12, 2014). "Ray K. Metzker, 83, famed photographer". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  7. ^ Martin, Douglas (11 October 2014). "Ray K. Metzker, Art Photographer, Dies at 83". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-22.
  8. ^ "Ray K. Metzker". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2021-12-22.
  9. ^ "Ray K. Metzker". whitney.org. Retrieved 2021-12-22.