Fine Art Photograph Collections

Dan Powell photographs, 1978-present

Chart of Brief Forms #11 by Dan PowellCollection number: Ph397

Extent:12 linear ft. (14 containers)


 Dan Powell (1950-) is a widely exhibited fine art photographer and former head of the photography department at the University of      Oregon. The collection is a comprehensive representation of Powell's wide-ranging life work, including constructed imagery done in the  studio as well as social landscape and physical landscape imagery ranging from such diverse areas as Eastern Oregon and the Western  United States to New York City and various European Countries. Typically, his work is interpretive and expressive in nature.  Personal  website:

 Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Dan Powell photographs, Ph397-[series]_[item number], Special Collections and University  Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1299.

 Images shown: The image shown above is "Chart of Brief Forms #11," 1992, a sepia-toned photographic collage of woodcut prints and plant materials from the Chart of Brief Forms series, Dan Powell photograph collection, Ph397_CB_11, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1299. Central image is a portrait of Powell. Third image is "Frenchman Coulee near George, Washington," 1987, a selenium toned, 8x10 contact print on 11x14 graded paper from the Western Landscape series, Ph397_WL_09. All rights are reserved.

Biographical Sketch

Dan Powell portrait

Dan Powell was born in 1950 in Richland, Washington and grew up in Central Washington. Powell holds an MA in art/photography from Central Washington University, and an MFA in art/photography from University of Illinois. He began teaching at University of Northern Iowa in 1980 and joined the faculty in the School of Architecture & Allied Arts at the University of Oregon in 1987. He is now an associate professor and former head of the photography area in the art department. Powell's work has been widely exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally since 1977 and has won prestigious national awards such as a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1980. Powell has worked extensively with studio constructed imagery as well as photographing the Western United States and sites in the Mediterranean. His work is in the permanent collections of the Polaroid Corporation, the Portland Art Museum, the Houston Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago and numerous other public, private and corporate collections.

Frenchman Coulee near George, Washington by Dan PowellScope and Content Note

The collection primarily consists of large format prints, arranged by series and by size. In some cases the prints may have been produced some years after the source negative was captured. Additional images are received semi-annually in approximate chronological order.

  • 1978/79  Wall Complex: first year in grad school at Univ. of Illinois. 
  • 1979/80  Flow Chart Series: graduate thesis work, much success in showing
  • 1980/82 Pattern Seekers Series: first years of teaching at U of Northern Iowa
  • 1982/83 The Letter Series first color series, hand marks on C prints
  • 1983 Studio A Series: One year's leave of absence to travel in Europe and live in NYC. 8x10 color contact prints, done in Brooklyn NY
  • 1983 Studio B Series: 8x10 B&W contact prints, done simultaneously with "A"series
  • 1983 Depiction Series:in NY. B&W hand colored images
  • 1983 New York: Many images were made of environs of NY City during the 1 year that I lived there. These images are B&W, from medium format camera, printed approx. 11x14.
  • 1984/85 Studio C Series: 1984/5, Return to Iowa. 4x5 color negs, 20x24 C prints with hand marks on surface.
  • 1987 Art and Architecture Series: large B&W images from Europe and U.S., hand marks
  • 1987/90 Chart of Brief Forms Series: B&W images, type 55 film, hand colored
  • 1988/89 Artists Model Series: first work done in Oregon, Type 55 film, B&W hand colored images.
  • 1989 Sed Phrases Series:1989, heavily toned composite images with hand marks
  • 1992/94  Classical Measures Series: Mostly Polaroid sx-70 prints, some small hand color B&W prints also. Mostly experimental, never exhibited work.
  • 1993/94  Of Myth and Legend Series: composite B&W images from type 55 negs, hand color/marks1995/96 Information Series: B&WHolga and 4x5 camera images, some hand marks.
  • 1993/94 Light & Stone Series
  • 1995/97 Traces in Passing Series: tiny images in field of black
  • 1995/97 Transmission Series: B&W, very small series, triptychs, seldom exhibited
  • 1999/2002 The Keeping of Record Series:diptychs and triptychs, B&W
  • 1999/2002 In a State of Culture Series: diptychs and triptychs, B&W
  • 1985/1991 Beginning of Western Lands work: 4x5 and 8x10 negatives, contact prints and enlargements. 
  • 2005-2007 Prints created from negatives shot in Europe, Western U.S, and other places over my entire career. They were shot with various format cameras and printed at various sizes. "With Western Lands they form an alternate group to the various series of studio work detailed above. They comprise the alternate vision, the split in my personality as an artist, but perhaps the work that, at the end of the day, is by far the most important to me."


Publication rights: Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish images must be submitted to the Photographs Curator of Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Access restrictions: None.

Provenance: The bulk of the collection is a series of gifts of the artist beginning in 2007. Substantial portions of the Western Landscape series were purchased beginning in 2005.

Processed by: Normandy S. Helmer

Date Completed: October 2008