Minor White: Rites and Passages is published as a remembrance and a testament to a visionary whose grace and dignity have inspired this book and all that Aperture has ever accomplished. Minor White's work as Editor of Aperture from 1952 to 1975, as a teacher at the San Francisco Art Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his workshops given throughout the country for many years—all allowed him little time to publish and exhibit his own photographic work.
When White was discharged from the army, he went to New York, "into the embittering turmoil again," no less "an unusually round peg in an extra square hole," but "a man who had overcome the concentric power of original sin," or who at least was determined to act like it.
It is hardly surprising that I have concluded, after five years research, that camera is both a way of life and not enough to live by... Glass between me and the world is both a channel and a barrier. To live through a lens, to live out my inner conflicts and brambles through a camera, to turn to the camera to help me return to the world was an experiment I set out to explore five years ago.
To reduce Aperture to an item in a catalogue that includes the soup stock, which is all I really do with it in this essay, is fundamentally misleading. When people wrote to Minor White asking him serious questions, he often answered, eloquently enough, by sending them a particular issue of the magazine.
1908 Minor Martin White born July 9, Minneapolis, Minnesota; only child of Charles and Florence White. 1913-1928 Develops interest in photography through grandfather, amateur who conducts "slide evenings." Given hand camera at age seven or eight; considers beginning of own photography to be at age twelve when grandfather moves to California, leaving him photographic equipment and knowledge of its use.
This bibliography is selective. It is intended to present the range of Minor White's writing and the chronological development of his concerns. Through the year 1969 it contains only entries for works by Minor White; from 1942 through 1969 few substantive articles about White were published.