Scope and Content
Title: Milton Halberstadt Papers and Photographs
50 linear ft.
Abstract: Photographs, proofs, transparencies, and negatives of Milton "Hal" Halberstadt
commericial and artistic photography. Personal and business correspondence relating to his life as a
photographer. Papers include business ledgers and records, teaching slides and notes. Correspondence and
memorabilia from 1936-2000.
Phyiscal location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as
many are stored offsite.
University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special
Davis, California 95616-5292
Collection number: D-468
Language of Material: Collection materials in English
Milton Halberstadt (1919-2000) had an illustrious career in fine art and commercial photography that spanned
seven decades and left a body of work covering genres from abstract art to commercial photography. Milton
Halberstadt, better known as Hal, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He began his career as a photographer
there in 1936. He worked for Creative Photographers (1936-1937), Bachrach's (1938-1939) and Garfield
& Newcomb Studio gaining extensive technical expertise. At one point during this time, he
photographed the streets of Boston for the Works Progress Administration and Boston Housing. His creativity
with photography awarded him a Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship to the School of Design in Chicago in
1940. Led by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a renowned Hungarian artist, Moholy became very influential in M.
Halberstadt's life. During his years in Chicago, he assisted Moholy and Gyorgy Kepes in the printing of
their photographs and photographing their work. It was during this time that Halberstadt became an expert in
developing photographs. World War II interrupted this emerging career. In 1943, he trained as a navigator.
He was the navigator for a B-24 bomber, which flew 11 missions over south-central Europe and the Balkans.
Struck down over Yugoslavia, Halberstadt, though severely injured safely navigated the plane until it landed
in Italy. For his valor, he received the Armed Forces' Distinguished Flying Cross for safely landing the
plane and saving the lives of the pilot and one other airman. After World War II, Halberstadt, with his
family, moved to San Francisco, opening a large format photography studio, M. Halberstadt Illustration
(1945-1973). As the premier food photographer on the west coast, he changed how food was photographed and
used in print. He has been called brilliant by his peers who included, Ansel Adams, Minor White, Imogen
Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, and Edward Weston. During his 28 years of business, he created campaigns for Del
Monte Foods, Ralston Purina, Kaiser, Spice Island, Dole, Paul Masson Vineyards, Royal Viking Lines, Qantas
and the Olive Advisory Board, Dairy Advisory Board, and the Beef Advisory Board. He wallpapered his walls
with his awards. The studio had a kitchen for food preparation, darkrooms, and a huge "prop loft" for the
items that were used in the photography. He worked extensively with Maggie Waldron, skillfully styling food
to create the best photographs possible. Halberstadt taught many classes on photography while he had his
studio in San Francisco as well as after closing the studio. He gave private classes in the United States
and Canada. He taught both with Ansel Adams in Yosemite and for the Ansel Adams Gallery. After closing his
studio in 1973, he continued to teach classes at University of California, Berkeley, University of
California Santa Cruz, California State University, San Francisco and the University of Oregon. Information
about Milton Halberstadt appears in Warren, Lynne.
Encyclopedia of Twentieth-century
2006. Comer, Stephanie
The Moment of Seeing: Minor White at the California
School of Fine Arts Chronicle Books
B&W Magazine Millenium Issue #5
February, 2000. Court, Arthur.
Minerals; Nature's Fabulous Jewels Photography by Milton
Halberstadt 1974. Kepes, Gyorgy.
Language of Vison (Halberstadt is credited as Halbe) 1961,
and The Editors of Time-Life Books,
The Studio. Milton Halberstadt Died on June 26, 2000.
Scope and Content
The Milton Halberstadt Collection consists of approximately 4500 negatives, slides transparencies, fine
prints and photographs as well as office records, business and personal correspondence to friends and other
artists. Milton Halberstadt was a food advertising and fine arts photographer. The collection consists of
images made for his advertising studio and his own black and white fine art. Several of his fine art prints
are included in the collection. He shot in black and white, with investigations into photograms, negative
images, solarization, tone line and multiple exposures. Some of his most famous photographs are included in
the collection. Also included in the collection are his photographs from a published book,
Nature's Fabulous Jewels
, by Arthur Court and Ian Campbell and the negatives to the 1968,
"Register and Vote" postage stamp, photographed by Milton Halberstadt, graphics by Norman Todd-Hunter, and
typeface by Bill Hyde. It is a United States Postal Service stamp. It also includes art by other artist as
well, including an original cartoon by Jack Keeler.
Arrangement of the Collection
The collection is arranged in five series: 1. Biographical Information, 2. Correspondence and
Memorabilia, 3. Teaching Materials, 4. Studio Business Records and 5. Photography.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online
public access catalog.
Photography--Study and teaching
Collection is open for research.
Gift of M. Halberstadt Photographic Trust in 2007.
[Identification of item], Milton Halberstadt Papers and Photographs , D-468, Department of Special
Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis..
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to
publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, University of
California, Library, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.