Will Connell (1898-1961) was a self-taught photographer. He opened a studio in downtown Los Angeles in 1925 and became a member
of the Camera Pictorialists. He taught at Art Center College in Pasadena from 1931 until his death. His work included movie
publicity shots, magazine assignments and other commercial photography. The collection consists of photographs, negatives,
experimental work, correspondence, instructional materials, and ephemera.
Connell was born in 1898 in McPherson, Kansas; came with mother to California, and attended Los Angeles High School; left
in the tenth grade to enlist in the army, but World War I had ended; became a pharmacist; in the 1920s taught himself photography,
and opened a studio in downtown Los Angeles in 1925; became a member of the Camera Pictorialists along with Edward Weston,
Louis Fleckenstein, and others; taught at Art Center College in Pasadena from 1931 until his death; work also included movie
publicity shots, magazine assignments and other commercial photography; was one of the first photojournalists, illustrating
numerous articles for
The Saturday Evening Post; wrote long-running column in
U.S. Camera called Counsel by Connell; produced three photography books:
In Pictures (1931),
The Missions of California (1941), and
About Photography (1949); he died in 1961.Will Connell was born in McPherson, Kansas in 1898. His father, a cowpuncher, kept moving the family westward and ultimately
left them in Portland, Oregon. Mrs. Connell, a school teacher, relocated to Los Angeles where Will, an only child, went to
Los Angeles High School. In 10th grade, Will dropped out of school to join the Army, but World War I came to an end and spoiled
his plans. He then had a variety of jobs from soda-jerk to pharmacist, a job for which he had to obtain a pharmacy license,
which he updated with pride throughout his life.
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