By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

About William Carter

with one comment

William CarterLos Angeles-born William Carter graduated from Stanford University in 1957. He became a professional photographer, writer and editor while concurrently pursuing fine art photography. In New York, Carter worked as a book editor for Harper & Row, 1961-63. Based in Beirut 1964-66, he published in Life, the London Sunday Times, Geographical Magazine and others. In 1966-69 he freelanced from London, doing assignments for such clients as The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, and TWA’s Annual Report.

Returning to San Francisco in 1969, William Carter turned to longer term projects. He published his first book of text and pictures, Ghost Towns of the West, in 1971. His second book, Middle West Country, appeared in 1975. Carter’s permanent love affair with New Orleans jazz led him to create his third book of text and photographs, Preservation Hall, in 1991. Increasingly absorbed in fine art photography, he began exhibiting in galleries and published Illuminations, a book of nudes, in 1996. Carter’s fifth book, Causes and Spirits, is an autobiographical photo-appreciation of humanity worldwide, scheduled to be published in 2011.

William Carter’s photographs have been widely exhibited in the US and Europe.

More than 150 of his black and white prints are in the permanent collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. A Carter nude was shown in the Getty’s concise 150-year history of that genre in 2007-2008. Four of his Middle Eastern images appeared there in Engaged Observers, a 2010 survey of photojournalism since 1960.

Selected permanent collections:

  • J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
  • Museum Ludwig, Cologne
  • Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
  • Paris Audio-Visual
  • Center for Creative Photography, Arizona
  • Santa Barbara Museum, California
  • Cantor Museum, Stanford, California
  • Fogg Museum, Harvard University
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • National Museum of Photography, England
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • Portland Museum of Art, Oregon

Selected activities:

  • Founding Board Member, Photo Alliance, San Francisco 2001-2004
  • Board Member, Humanities West, San Francisco 1996-2001
  • Producer and Presenter, “Lens Culture” for Humanities West, Herbst Theater, San Francisco, 2003; “New Orleans 1900,” 2000; and “Jerusalem” 1998
  • Conducted Photography Workshops, Germany & California 1994 – 2003
  • Founding Member, Photographs Council, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 2005-present
  • Chairman, San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation, 1990-present

A sampling of William Carter’s photographs is available at his website here.


Written by bywilliamcarter

June 30, 2011 at 12:25 am

One Response

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  1. Bill,

    Please check out the cbsnews link featuring Bruce Raeburn talking with Wynton Marsalis at your well photoed place, Preservation Hall.

    Best, Bill Delaney and Susan Raeburn


    bill delaney

    February 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm

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