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Richard K. Shirk Photographs
MS 418  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Richard K. Shirk photographs
    Dates: 1970-1985
    Collection number: MS 418
    Creator: Shirk, Richard K.
    Collection Size: 1 document box
    Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
    Santa Cruz, California 95064
    Abstract: 35 color photographs and CD-ROM disk, 1970-1983; plus a 3 page resume summarizing Richard Shirk's education and experience.
    Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Richard K. Shirk photographs. MS 418. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.


    Born July 24, 1924 in Syracuse, New York, Richard K. Shirk started his photographic career in 1939 at the Grosse Pointe News in Michigan. He joined the U.S. Air Force during WWII and was attached to the Night Photo Reconnaissance Squadron where he worked with Dr. Harold Edgerton on the development of electronic flash for night photography. While in the service he learned aerial photography and was crew chief in Europe, 1944-1945.
    After the war he attended Kenyon College in Ohio and earned a B.A. in Philosophy. He served an apprenticeship in New York under Charles Kerlee in commercial photography, then started his own studio in the Detroit, Michigan area in 1950 specializing in architectural photography. His clients included Eero Saarinen, Minuro Yamasaki, Architectural Record, Architectural Forum, and Better Homes and Gardens. He expanded his studio, shifted back to commercial photography and was hired by Dow Chemical Co., 3M Corp, Bendix Corp. and others. In the late 1970's he expanded his knowledge of color print making and learned experimental underwater photography.
    He won awards from the Detroit Art Directors Club and the Focus '77 Show.
    He was guest lecturer at Western Michigan University in 1972, and taught classes at Wayne State University during 1978-1980.
    His exhibitions include:
    • "Trees, Patterns and People" -- Scarab Club, Detroit - 1973
    • "Singular Color Images" Scarab Club, Detroit and Midland Gallery, Midland - 1977
    • Detroit Artists Guild - 1977
    • Focus '77 Show, Battle Creek - 1977
    • Halsted Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan - 1979
    • Detroit Artists Market - 1980
    • Toledo Art Museum
    • Detroit Institute of Art
    • K-Mart Corp.
    • Alden Dow, and other private collectors
    Shirk moved to Monterey County, California in 1984 and died in 1985.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection contains 35 - 8 x 10 inch color photographs by Richard K. Shirk from the Halsted Gallery exhibition in Detroit of May 5 - June 2, 1979. The photographs are contained in a 3 ring binder, with a CD-ROM disk of over 200 of Shirk's favorite images. There is also a 3 page resume highlighting the education and experience of Richard Shirk's life.


    Photographs are in original binder order.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Shirk, Richard K.

    Related Material

    MS 118 Patricia and Richard Shirk Collection of Photographs.