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Lou Stoumen Archive
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Collection Overview
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The Lou C. Stoumen Archive, 1925-1992 consists of personal and subject files spanning a wide range of Stoumen’s professional activities, from his involvement with the Photo League as a young freelance photo-journalist and service in the U.S. Army during WWII, to his professorship with UCLA’s Cinematography Department, 1966-1988. Materials in the collection include catalogs, contracts, correspondence, photographs, negatives, slides, portfolios, certificates, news clippings, magazine clippings, newsletters, pamphlets, design booklets, diagrams, prints and illustrations, manuscripts (typed and hand-written), manuscript dummies, screenplays, scripts, proofs, programs, promotional flyers, date books, journals and ledgers, magazines, passport and war correspondent pass.
Louis Clyde Stoumen was a writer, award-winning filmmaker, photographer and teacher born in Springtown, Pennsylvania in 1917. Stoumen attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1939 with a B.A. in Fine Arts. In 1939, Stoumen self-published his first book, Speech for the Young: First Poems and Camera Work. After graduating from Lehigh University, he moved to New York and became a freelance photographer and journalist. That same year, he studied with the Photo League for six weeks under Sid Grossman, eventually becoming editor of the Photo League’s publication Photo Notes in 1940. Stoumen received his first photo-journalist job in 1941 working for the National Youth Administration in Puerto Rico. He volunteered for the army in 1942, serving as a combat correspondent and photographer for the U.S. Army Weekly publication Yank. Honorably discharged from the Army in August of 1945, Stoumen relocated to the Los Angeles area, working as a freelance photographer and journalist. In 1948, Stoumen exhibited his photographs in group shows at the MoMA, New York curated by Edward Steichen: Out of Focus, A Survey of Today’s Photography, April-July, and Fifty Photographs by Fifty Photographers, July-September. During the 1950s, Stoumen studied graduate film, television and photography on the GI Bill, under his mentor Slavko Vorkapich at the University of Southern California. In 1951, he entered the film industry as a cinematographer. He wrote, directed and produced numerous films and TV treatments and was a two-time Academy Award winner and Academy Award nominee. The UCLA Department of Motion Picture and Television invited Stoumen to join their faculty in 1966; he retired from the UCLA Cinematography Department as Professor Emeritus in 1988. Louis Clyde Stoumen died of cancer in 1991 at his home in Sebastopol, California.
18 boxes, 4 record cartons (11 linear ft.)
Permission to publish material from the Lou C. Stoumen Archive must be obtained from The Edmund L. and Nancy K. Dubois Library or the appropriate holder of copyright.
Collection stored on-site at the Museum of Photographic Arts. Open for research by appointment only. Contact the Edmund L. and Nancy K. Dubois Library for information.