1951 The need for a serious periodical devoted to photography is discussed during the first photography conference at the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies in the fall of 1951. Among the attendees are future Aperture founders Minor White, Ansel Adams, Barbara Morgan, Nancy Newhall, and Beaumont Newhall.

1952 The first issue of Aperture, a quarterly journal devoted to creative photography, launches in San Francisco. Founded by a small circle of photographers and critics — Minor White, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, Ansel Adams, Nancy and Beaumont Newhall, Ernest Louie, Melton Ferris, and Dody Warren — Aperture’s stated mission is to communicate with “serious photographers and creative people everywhere, whether professional, amateur or student”

Teacher, writer, and influential photographer Minor White serves as editor, and is involved until his death in 1976.

1953 Aperture’s editorial offices move to Rochester, New York, with Minor White when he joins the staff of the George Eastman House. (Starting in 1955 White begins teaching at the Rochester Institute of Technology.)

Shirley C. Burden, an amateur photographer living in New York City, donates $1,000 to help publish the magazine. Burden goes on to serve as Aperture’s chairman of the board and remains one of Aperture’s most stalwart benefactors until his death in 1989.

1955

Curator and historian Peter C. Bunnell, then a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, begins working on the magazine, first as an assistant to White and as subscription manager, and later as an advisory editor.

1958

The first issue of the magazine (vol. 6, no. 1) dedicated to a single photographer, Edward Weston, is published, a precursor to later monographic issues.

1959

The magazine changes from its 9⅜-by-6¼-inch format to 9 by 7½ inches to afford equal respect to horizontal and vertical images and to allow for greater interplay of images and text.

1962

Aperture (vol. 10, no. 4) celebrates the idea of the monograph with an issue designed, sequenced, and written by photographer Frederick Sommer, and is simultaneously released in a limited quantity of hardcover copies.

1963

Aperture, Inc., becomes a non‑profit foundation.

1964

Aperture continues the publication of monographic issues, spotlighting the work of Barbara Morgan (vol. 11, no. 1) and Imogen Cunningham (vol. 11, no. 4).

1965

Michael E. Hoffman, a former student of Minor White, becomes Aperture Foundation’s publisher and executive director, and goes on to play a pivotal role in shaping the foundation over the next thirty-six years, until his death in 2001.

Edward Weston’s Flame of Recognition, an anthology of Weston’s classic photographs, is published, and remains in print through to the present day.

1966

Production of Aperture magazine moves to New York City. Nancy Newhall introduces Hoffman to twentieth-century master photographer Paul Strand, starting a relationship that will continue until Strand’s death.

1967

Aperture magazine’s editors consider ceasing publication following the precedent set by Stieglitz’s Camera Work, which was published for fifteen years, from 1912 to 1927. But, in the editorial to vol. 13, no. 2, Minor White writes, “When Michael Hoffman became the publisher of Aperture, its physical growth was assured and a new cycle was started.”

Aperture’s first Paul Strand portfolio (the second edition of The Mexican Portfolio) is published in cooperation with Da Capo Press, marking the start of the limited-edition prints program. (Later prints include iconic images such as Strand’s Wall Street, Steichen’s Moonrise and The Flatiron, and Stieglitz’s views of New York from the windows of Gallery 291.)

1968

Photographer and arts patron Dorothy Norman founds the Stieglitz Center for Photography at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), with Michael E. Hoffman as curator. Aperture will collaborate with the museum on many exhibitions and publications, and continues to work with it today, working in partnership with PMA to preserve and promote the legacy of Paul Strand.

Minor White begins a series of collaborations with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Hayden Gallery, beginning with Light7, an exhibition and catalog (published as vol. 14, no. 1, of the magazine and simultaneously released in hardcover). Three additional such projects will take place, including Being Without Clothes, Octave of Prayer, and Celebrations.

Working in collaboration with MoMA and Robert Delpire, Aperture releases a second U.S. edition of Robert Frank’s The Americans, with text by Jack Kerouac.

A retrospective of Minor White’s work, Mirrors, Messages, Manifestations, is published.

1971

Aperture Foundation moves its offices to Millerton, New York.

The two-volume set of Paul Strand’s work, A Retrospective Monograph: The Years 1915–1968, is published.

1972

Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph is published in collaboration with curator John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, a year after Arbus’s death. The book, designed and edited by Marvin Israel and the artist’s daughter Doon Arbus, remains in print today. After an initial printing of 4,500, its print run today exceeds 450,000 copies, including editions in German, French, Italian, and Japanese.

Edward S. Curtis’s North American Indians is released simultaneously as vol. 16, no. 4, of the magazine and as a hardcover book.

1973

The Daybooks of Edward Weston, abridged by Nancy Newhall (and assisted by Peter C. Bunnell), is published as a two-volume set.

Camera Work: A Critical Anthology, edited by Jonathan Green, is the first comprehensive survey of Alfred Stieglitz’s famed periodical. (Green also serves as associate editor of Aperture magazine from 1974 to 1976.)

1974

Ralph Eugene Meatyard: An Aperture Monograph, the first publication of Meatyard’s work, is released simultaneously as vol. 18, nos. 3–4, of the magazine and as a hardcover book.

Minor White edits his last issue of the magazine, Celebrations, which is also the final exhibition and catalog project produced in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Hayden Gallery.

1975

In collaboration with Robert Delpire, Aperture publishes Josef Koudelka’s Gypsies.

The first full-color portfolio appears in the magazine: Helen Levitt’s work on the streets of New York City.

1976

Minor White and Paul Strand die within months of each other.

With issue no. 77, the magazine moves to a numbering system and a new format of 99/16 by 11⅜ inches.

Stephen Shore’s full-color work from several cross-country journeys is published in the magazine (later published in 1982 and reissued in an expanded edition in 2004 as Uncommon Places). Paul Strand’s book Ghana: An African Portrait is published, and his exhibitions On My Doorstep and The Garden are produced. Callahan, a survey of Harry Callahan’s work, is produced in collaboration with curator John Szarkowski and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The History of Photography series, under the artistic direction of Robert Delpire, is launched with the first five volumes on Wynn Bullock, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Jacques Henri Lartigue, and Alfred Stieglitz. The series eventually becomes the Masters of Photography, with twenty volumes published altogether, including those on Berenice Abbott, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Walker Evans, Barbara Morgan, August Sander, and Edward Weston.

Carole Kismaric is hired to expand Aperture’s book program, and for the next ten years works as managing editor and then editorial director.

1979

A new design for the magazine by Malcolm Grear is unveiled with issue no. 82; the design remains relatively unchanged until 2000.

1980

During a prolonged pilgrimage to India, Michael E. Hoffman has the first of many encounters with the Dalai Lama, resulting in projects that include Tibet: The Sacred Realm, Photographs 1880–1950 (1985); Journey to Enlightenment: The Life and World of Khyentse Rinpoche, Spiritual Teacher from Tibet (1996), with photographs and narrative by Matthieu Ricard; and Tibet Since 1950: Silence, Prison, or Exile (2000).

Robert Adams’s From the Missouri West is released, the first of nearly a dozen books of the artist’s photographs and essays to be published by Aperture. His other Aperture titles include Beauty in Photography (1981), Summer Nights (1985, reissued in an expanded edition in 2009 as Summer Nights, Walking, with Yale University Art Gallery), Perfect Times, Perfect Places (1988), Listening to the River: Seasons in the American West (1994), and Why People Photograph (1994).

Aperture launches its Photogravure Workshop with master gravure printer Jon Goodman. The press, in Hazel Strand’s home, fulfills Paul Strand’s wish that his photographs be reproduced by hand-pulled photogravure, a technique also favored by Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen but no longer widely used.

1982

W. Eugene Smith: Let Truth Be the Prejudice—His Life and Photographs is published, the first book to feature Smith’s photographs following his resignation from Life magazine.

Aperture founder Dorothea Lange’s monograph Photographs of a Lifetime is published.

Aperture’s first monograph printed entirely in four-color is published: Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places.

1983

The Paul Strand Archive, which contains the entire life’s work and personal collections of Paul Strand, is bequeathed to Aperture Foundation upon the death of his widow Hazel Strand. Under Aperture’s direction, the archive is made available to photographers, scholars, and the public at large.

1984

The Golden Age of British Photography, a major exhibition, publication, and limited-edition portfolio, is produced in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Telex Iran: In the Name of the Revolution by Gilles Peress is published.

1985

Aperture Foundation moves into a five-story, nineteenth-century brownstone, owned by Shirley C. Burden, at 20 East 23rd Street in Manhattan. The building will be Aperture’s headquarters for the next twenty years.

Aperture furthers Minor White’s commitment to teaching with the launch of the Work Scholar Program. Each year, the program, still in existence, provides approximately twenty young art-photography enthusiasts with six to twelve months of on-the-job training related to the publication, exhibition, and marketing of photography.

1986

This watershed year for Aperture’s publishing program includes Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency and Bruce Davidson’s Subway.

1987

Mitch Epstein’s In Pursuit of India: Photographs is published.

1988

At Twelve, Aperture’s first book with Sally Mann, is published. Aperture will publish several more titles by Mann: Immediate Family (1992), Still Time (1994), Proud Flesh (copublished with Gagosian Gallery, 2010), and The Flesh and The Spirit (copublished with Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2010).

1989

Aperture’s Burden Gallery opens at 20 East 23rd Street with a large show of vintage prints from the Paul Strand Archive.

Melissa Harris joins Aperture, and, in 2002, becomes editor-in-chief of the magazine.

A new series, Writers and Artists on Photography (subsequently Aperture Ideas), is initiated by editor Steve Deitz. The first four volumes are Time Pieces: Photographs, Writing, and Memory by Wright Morris; In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography by Fred Ritchin; The Eternal Moment: Essays on the Photographic Image by Estelle Jussim; and From Adams to Stieglitz: Pioneers of Twentieth-century Photography by Nancy Newhall.

Aperture works with Gallery Min in Tokyo to distribute Richard Misrach: Photographs, 1975–1987. Misrach’s subsequent Aperture titles include Violent Legacies: Three Cantos, 1992; Golden Gate, 2005 and 2012; On the Beach, 2007; Destroy This Memory, 2010; and Petrochemical America (with Kate Orff), 2012.

1990

Issue no. 121 of the magazine, “The Body in Question,” explores sexual representation and censorship at a time when political conservatives are pushing for censorship of the arts. Featured artists include Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, and David Wojnarowicz.

1991

Aperture publishes a diverse array of books championing social causes in the 1990’s, starting in 1991 with Donna Ferrato’s depiction of domestic violence, Living with the Enemy. (This focus continues with Eugene Richards’s chronicle of drug addiction, Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue and David Wojnarowicz’s Brush Fires in the Social Landscape in 1994, and Mary Ellen Mark’s photo-essay about American life on the edge, American Odyssey, in 1999.)

Jock Sturges’s Last Day of Summer is published in the wake of an FBI raid on his studio. (Aperture publishes several more books by Sturges, including Radiant Identities, 1994; Notes, 2004; and Misty Dawn: Portrait of a Muse, 2008.)

1992

Aperture celebrates its fortieth anniversary with an exhibition at the Burden Gallery honoring photographers whose work has appeared in Aperture magazine. Robert Rauschenberg creates a special cover for the related publication.

Uncertain Grace, the first of four books featuring the work of Sebastião Salgado, is published. Aperture will go on to publish Workers: An Archaeology of the Industrial Age (1993), The Children (2000), and Migrations: Humanity in Transition (2000).

1996

Robert Capa: Photographs, a survey of Capa’s most iconic images, is published in multiple languages.

1997

India: A Celebration of Independence 1947–1997 is published in conjunction with an exhibition that opens at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and travels throughout the United States and Asia.

2000

Aperture no. 159 features a new design created in collaboration with art director Yolanda Cuomo and Aperture staff. The new magazine is a departure from the theme-based issues of the previous twenty years.

The United Nations Summit opens with Aperture’s traveling exhibition of Sebastião Salgado’s Migrations: Humanity in Transition, which travels through 2004.

2002

Aperture celebrates its fiftieth anniversary with a series of mini exhibitions at fifty venues—from storefronts to museums—throughout New York City. This later comes together as a publication and a traveling exhibition, Photography Past/Forward: Aperture at 50.

After Michael Hoffman’s unexpected death in 2001, the Michael E. Hoffman Tribute Collection is established at the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Mary Ellen Mark, Lynne Honickman, and Melissa Harris. The International Center of Photography also presents the Getty Images Lifetime Achievement Award in memory of Hoffman.

Stepping Through the Ashes, Eugene Richards’s elegy to those lost in New York and Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001, is published.

2004

Lesley A. Martin is hired as executive editor and tasked with further expanding the book program; in 2007, she becomes publisher.

The magazine receives the American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence in magazine publishing.

Aperture initiates Photography in Context, a series of panel discussions in collaboration with the Parsons the New School for School Design. The series continues to showcase a wide range of artists, including John Baldessari, Gregory Crewdson, Gilbert & George (Gilbert & George: The Complete Pictures 1971–2005, 2007), Susan Mieselas (Nicaragua, 2007), Walid Raad, Martha Rosler, and Taryn Simon, and writers and critics such as Vince Aletti (contributing editor of Aperture magazine) and Vicki Goldberg (Light Matters: Writings on Photography, 2005).

2005

Aperture moves from the 23rd Street building to its new home in Chelsea. The 17,500-square-foot space includes a 3,000-square-foot gallery and a 2,000-square-foot space for public programs.

First books are published by Katy Grannan, David Hilliard, An-My Lê, and Loretta Lux.

Reflex: A Vik Muniz Primer, a mid-career survey of the artist’s work, is published.

2006

The annual Portfolio Prize is launched to discover and support the work of emerging photographers. Among the artists to be recognized since the prize’s inception are Jowhara AlSaud, Michal Chelbin, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Alexander Gronsky, and Jordan Tate.

William Christenberry Photographs, 1961–2005, a survey of the artist’s documentation of the Southern vernacular landscape and architecture, is published to accompany a retrospective organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a traveling exhibition organized by Aperture.

A Couple of Ways of Doing Something, featuring daguerreotype portraits by Chuck Close and praise poems by Bob Holman, is published, accompanied by an exhibition of the work at Aperture Gallery, which subsequently travels internationally, continuing through 2013.

Martin Parr: Mexico (copublished with Chris Boot Ltd.) is published; it is Parr’s first monograph under the Aperture imprint. (Subsequent books are Parrworld: Objects and Postcards, 2008, copublished with Chris Boot Ltd., and Life’s a Beach, 2012.)

Inside the Photograph: Writings on Twentieth-century Photography by Peter C. Bunnell is published.

2007

Lisette Model, the classic 1979 monograph, is reissued, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of Model’s death.

Shuffle by Christian Marclay, printed as a deck of seventy-five cards, is published and is later acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, for its permanent collection.

2008

On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Prague, Aperture publishes Invasion 68: Prague, a catalog of Josef Koudelka’s work made during that one week, and produces the accompanying exhibition. Pitch Blackness, Hank Willis Thomas’s first book, is published. The Places We Live, photographs by Jonas Bendiksen, documents the slums of four cities: Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Caracas, Venezuela. It is published in seven languages: Norwegian, Dutch, German, Swedish, Italian, French, and English.

2009

Japanese Photobooks of the 1960’s and ‘70s presents forty influential publications from this era, beginning a more concentrated effort to examine the legacy of photobook publishing. (This continues with The Latin American Photobook, copublished with Fundación Televisa and Editorial RM, 2011, and The Dutch Photobook: A Thematic Selection from 1945 Onwards, 2012.) Philip Gefter’s collection of essays Photography After Frank is published.

2010

Chris Boot, longtime photography publisher, is appointed executive director.

Words Without Pictures, a collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, becomes Aperture’s first e-book.

Aperture is awarded the prize for prominent publishing company of the year by PHotoEspaña.

Paul Strand in Mexico is published in collaboration with Fundación Televisa.

Green Carts Commission Project is launched with the New York City Department of Health and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund to document the New York City Green Cart Initiative. The initiative is explored through the perspectives of five emerging artists, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Thomas Holton, Gabriele Stabile, Will Steacy, and Shen Wei.

Gerry Badger’s collection of essays The Pleasures of Good Photographs is published, earning Badger the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award for Writing in 2011.

The Pond, the classic 1985 John Gossage monograph, is reissued.

A twentieth-anniversary edition of Fred Ritchin’s prescient In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography is released.

2011

To focus much-deserved attention on the photobook—from the coffee-table book to the handmade artist’s edition—Aperture launches a new biannual publication, The PhotoBook Review.

The New York Times Magazine Photographs is published, and due to high demand is immediately reprinted twice.

What Matters Now: Proposals for a New Front Page is Aperture’s first crowdsourcing project.

Rinko Kawauchi: Illuminance is published, garnering Kawauchi a nomination for the Deutsche Börse Award.

Aperture publishes first books by Sanna Kannisto, Brian Ulrich, and Penelope Umbrico.

2012

To kick off its sixtieth-anniversary year, Aperture hosts Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography, featuring the private collection of long-time trustee Celso Gonzalez-Falla and board member Sondra Gilman. (The exhibition is organized by the MOCA, Jacksonville, University of North Florida, and includes a catalog published by MOCA and produced by Aperture.)

Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation join forces to launch the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, with First PhotoBook and PhotoBook of the Year categories.

Delpire & Co., an exhibition at Aperture Gallery and venues across New York, celebrates the career of visionary editor, publisher, and long-time Aperture partner Robert Delpire.

Aperture publishes its first app, Merce Cunningham: 65 Years, with the Cunningham Dance Foundation.

The exhibition Aperture Remix features the responses of leading contemporary photographers to Aperture publications that have influenced the direction of their work.

Aperture Magazine Anthology: The Minor White Years, 1952–1976, the first anthology of Aperture magazine ever produced, is released.