I think of photography as visual problem solving.  I don’t need the problem to be complex; usually simple is better.  But they are a place to start that helps me clarify and shape a body of work.


Willis E. Hartshorn was Director of the International Center of Photography from 1994 to 2013.  During his tenure the museum and school went through a major transition, moving to new expanded facilities and completing a $25 million capital campaign.   The institution has experienced growth in all program areas including the collection, which now holds 100,000 photographs, the education programs that serve over 5,000 students, and the exhibitions program that presents over 15 major shows annually.   Mr. Hartshorn joined ICP’s Exhibitions Department in 1982 and served as Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator, Director of Exhibitions, and Deputy Director for Programs prior to his appointment as Director of ICP. 

Mr. Hartshorn holds a B.A. degree from the University of Rochester and an M.F.A. degree in Photographic Studies from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester.  He formerly worked with the Traveling Exhibitions Program at the Visual Studies Workshop and as Curatorial Intern at the International Museum of Photography / George Eastman House, Rochester.  His photographs have been shown in individual and group exhibitions since 1973, and he received NEA photography fellowships in 1979 and 1986.  Among the major exhibitions he has curated for ICP are Czech Modernism: 1918-1945 (with the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, 1989); Annie Leibovitz: Photographs 1970-1990 (with The National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.); Man Ray/Bazaar Years: A Retrospective,  (with the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution); and 11 exhibitions in the “New Directions” series of contemporary photography, including Two to Tango: Collaboration in Recent American Photography and Art & Advertising: Commercial Photography by Artists.  For more than a decade, he has taught at all levels of ICP’s Education program.