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Gahan, Gordon W. Gordon Ward Gahan photographs and papers, 1950-1984: Guide.

Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

2007 The President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Last update on 2008 August 6

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
Call No.: fal00007
Creator: Gahan, Gordon W.
Title: Gordon Ward Gahan photographs and papers,
Date(s): 1950-1984.
Quantity: 33 cubic feet
Note: Materials are in English.
Abstract: Photos and papers of the late photojournalist Gordon Ward Gahan. The materials consist chiefly of 35mm color slide photographs taken on assignment around the world for the National Geographic Society, 1968-1982; other materials include motion pictures, sound recordings, publications, correspondence and notes, and realia.

Acquisition Information:

Gift to the Harvard University Art Museums, 2007 September 25. Transferred from the Harvard University Art Museums; received 2007 October 4.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and/or publication of materials subject to copyright requires written permission from a) the copyright owner, his/her heirs or assigns and from b) the Fine Arts Library, owner of the original material.

Access Restrictions:

Contact Special Collections Department, Fine Arts Library, Harvard University.

Alternative Form Available:

Selected materials are being digitized and will be available online and in the repository.

Historical Note

Born in New York, Gordon Ward Gahan attended Phillips Exeter Academy, 1959-1963, and Columbia University, 1963-1964; worked for United Press International, ca.1965-1967; was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as a photographer in Vietnam, 1966-1968. He worked as a contract photographer on various book and magazine assignments for the National Geographic, 1968-1972, and as a staff photographer for National Geographic Magazine, 1972-1982. In 1982 he left National Geographic to co-found a photo agency, Prism Photography, in New York. Gahan died in 1984.



Organized into the following series:

Scope and Content

The materials consist chiefly of 35mm color slide photographs taken on assignment for the National Geographic Society. The photos were intended for possible publication in the National Geographic Magazine and/or in books and other publications produced by the National Geographic Society. Assignment locations included Brazil, British Honduras, France, French Polynesia, Guatemala, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Hebrides, New Zealand, United States, West Germany, and elsewhere. Other materials include Super-8 movie footage, audiotape, newspaper clippings, student publications, correspondence, and realia.

Separated Material

Negatives and printed photographs related to Gahan's work for United Press International and for the U.S. Army in Vietnam are held by the Department of Photographs, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Art Museum . The Museum also holds a scrapbook containing miscellaneous manuscript material such as National Geographic correspondence, US Army correspondence, a fewpersonal photos, and copies of other documents such as Gahan's birth certificate and Columbia University transcripts.

Related Material

A selection of Gahan's National Geographic photos were printed posthumously for an exhibition in 1993 at Harvard's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. The photo prints are held by the Department of Photographs, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Art Museum .
Video recording of National Geographic's ca.1984 memorial tribute to Gahan is held by the Harvard Art Museum Archives .

Detailed Description of the Collection

Additional catalog entries

The following catalog entries represent topics documented in this collection.
Gahan, Gordon W.
National Geographic Society (U.S.).
National geographic magazine.
United Press International.
Periodical illustrations--1960-1990.
Book illustrations--1960-1990.
Motion pictures (visual works).