Skip to Content

Herb Weitman Photograph Exhibition Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: WUA-04-wua00391

Herb Weitman Photograph Exhibition Collection consists of frames prints of Weitman photographs used in an exhibition to mark the dedication of new facilities for the Sam Fox School’s Weitman Gallery. Established in 1995, the Weitman Gallery was originally located off campus in the Lewis Center building in University City. The new space is on the lower level of Steinberg Hall.

The inaugural exhibition, which opened January 16, 2008, was curated by Richard Krueger, associate professor of photography, and Jennifer Colton, senior lectures, both in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. Included in the exhibition were a number of iconic portraits and campus scenes that originally appeared in the University’s alumni magazine. Also includes are a variety of landscapes, travel photographs, and examples from Weitman’s “weekend job” of 25 years: official NFL photographer for the St. Louis football Cardinals.

The earlies images on view date from 1960 and include a portrait of the novelist Fannie Hurst (B.A. 1909) holding a dog in her New York apartment, next to a large statue of Madonna and child. Weitman’s travel photographs crisscross the globe, from France to China to Ireland to Peru. Campus scenes include the lighthearted “Dogs in the Quadrangle” (1967), the melancholy “Rainy Day Looking East” (1980) and the “Mouse” (1963), one of Weitman’s most reproduced images. Three photographs depict the artist Alexander Calder in home in Roxbury, New York, preparing for an exhibition as the Washington University Gallery of Art (now the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum). Another grouping offers unguarded shots of four Cardinals stars, including quarterback Charley Johnson, who would go on to earn a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University in 1971. Weitman was one of the first photographers allowed to shoot inside an NFL locker room, at the time considered an almost inviolate private sanctum.


  • 2008


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


32 linear feet

32 boxes

Biographical Information

Herbert (Herb) Weitman (1926-January 12, 2016) served as director of photographic services at Washington University in St. Louis for more than four decades, retiring in 1994. Considered the "dean" of America's university photographers, Weitman played a vital role in presenting images of Washington University to the nation and the world.

His work brought him international acclaim. In the 1960s, the American Alumni Council (AAC) named him "Photographer of the Decade" for all of U.S. higher education—an honor he again received for the 1980s from CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education), AAC's successor organization. No other university photographer has achieved such high praise.

He founded the photography program at Washington University's Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. For CASE and AAC he volunteered to teach dozens of national seminars on excellence in campus photography throughout the 1960s to the 1990s.

Weitman also served on weekends as the official photographer for the football Cardinals for the 28 years (1960-1987) they were in St. Louis. Weitman traveled to every St. Louis Cardinals football game in both the United States and Europe to capture action images still used today by the National Football League. He also was invited to photograph Super Bowl Games V to XXVIII for the NFL.

Numerous national publications, including Time, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Picture Magazine, and CASE Currents, as well as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, published his images.

Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1926, he emigrated to the United States in 1938 with his parents to escape the Nazi persecution of Jews. He entered Washington University as a business major in 1947, following service in the U.S. Army during World War II. He started taking pictures as a student photographer for the Hatchet yearbook and the student newspaper, Student Life. When he graduated in 1950, Weitman was immediately hired to begin what would become a 44-year tenure as head of photographic services in the University's public affairs office.

Seeing a need for a photography component in the undergraduate curriculum, he volunteered in the late 1960s to teach classes to introduce countless students to the role of the camera in the creative process. Today, photography is a concentration in the Sam Fox School's Bachelor of Fine Arts program, a testament to his pioneering work. He served as associate editor for Washington University Magazine, contributing award-winning images, including a CASE Grand Gold Medal winner.

Weitman's photos have been displayed in exhibitions in San Diego and Washington DC, as well as in several St. Louis art galleries. Washington University exhibited a major retrospective of his work in 1994 when he retired from full-time work, and again in 2008 when the Sam Fox School named its photography exhibition gallery after him.

Sam Fox School

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Herb Weitman, December 21, 2007

Processing Information

Processing by Jacob Maddox and Sarah Gabriel in Summer 2017.

Herb Weitman Photograph Exhibition Collection
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 May 27: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collecting Area

Sonya Rooney
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495