William Albert Allard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Albert Allard (born 1937)[1] is an American documentary photographer[2][3] who worked in color from 1964.[4]

He was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota in 1994,[5] the Joseph A Sprague Memorial Award from the National Press Photographers Association in 2002,[6] the Award for Excellence from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2004,[7] and the Figaro Magazine Lifetime Achievement Visa d'or Award in 2019.[8]


Allard was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1] The son of a Swedish immigrant, he studied at the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts and the University of Minnesota[1] with the hope of becoming a writer. Transferring to the University of Minnesota after only a year, he enrolled in the journalism program. He graduated in 1964[7] with a double major in journalism and photography.[citation needed]

The same year, looking for work in photojournalism, Allard joined National Geographic in Washington, D.C. as an intern.[9] He worked exclusively in color.[4] His most notable work as an intern included his photographs of the Amish for an article entitled "Amish Folk: Plainest of Pennsylvania's Plain People," (published in August 1965).[10] One of his photographs from this collection was sent aboard the Voyager 1 space probe.[citation needed] His work led to a full-time position with the magazine.

In 1967, after just two years, Allard resigned from his position at National Geographic, feeling that he was unable to contribute to the issues of the time, such as the Vietnam War in a way that seemed possible at other magazines such as Life Magazine. He continued to do assignments as a freelance photographer for National Geographic.

In 1982, Allard published his first book, Vanishing Breed, a photographic essay documenting the "old American west". In 1989 he published his second work, a retrospective of his work entitled The Photographic Essay. He continued to work for National Geographic, eventually taking up his second full-time position at the magazine.


  • Vanishing Breed: Photographs of the Cowboy and the West. Boston: Little, Brown, 1982. ISBN 978-0821215050. With a foreword by Thomas McGuane.
  • The Photographic Essay. American Photographer Master Series. Bullfinch / Little, Brown, 1989. By Erla Zwingle and Russell Hart. ISBN 978-0821217351. With an introduction by Sean Callahan.
  • A Time We Knew: Images of Yesterday in the Basque Homeland. University of Nevada Press, 1990. ISBN 9780874171570.
  • Time at the Lake: a Minnesota Album. Duluth, MN: Pfeifer-Hamilton, 1997. ISBN 9781570251337.
  • Portraits of America. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2001. ISBN 9780792264187. With a foreword by Richard Ford.
  • Five Decades: A Retrospective. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2010. ISBN 978-1426206375. With a foreword by William Kittredge.
  • Paris – Eye of the Flâneur. Lammerhuber, 2017. ISBN 978-3903101036.



  1. ^ a b c "William Albert Allard prints available for purchase at Obscura Gallery". Obscura Gallery. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  2. ^ Gilbert, Sarah (14 July 2014). "The best travel photography at Cortona on the Move 2014 – in pictures". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  3. ^ O'Neill, Claire (2 December 2010). "Cowboys And Cameras: Nat Geo Photographer's Five-Decade Retrospective". NPR. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  4. ^ a b "The Photo That Made Me: William Albert Allard, Pyrenees 1967". Time. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  5. ^ a b "Recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award". uawards.umn.edu. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  6. ^ a b "Joseph A Sprague Memorial Award". NPPA. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  7. ^ a b c "Past Award Recipients". hsjmc.umn.edu. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  8. ^ a b "Figaro Magazine Lifetime Achievement Visa d'or Award". Visa pour l'image. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  9. ^ "Veteran Photographer William Albert Allard Helped Change Focus of National Geographic". PBS NewsHour. 28 December 2010. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  10. ^ "Amish story in photographs of William Albert Allard". Korwel Photography. Retrieved 18 January 2021.