Dan Younger is a Professor of Art, founder of the studio area and former chair of the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. He has been teaching art in university settings since 1978.
He has over 150 national and international exhibits, and his works are in numerous public collections including Museum de Stadt, in Gladbeck Germany, The Fox Talbot Museum and the National Trust, Lacock, England, The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), APRIA: (Association de recherche et production d’images en anthropologie et art), the Harry Ransom Center at UT- Austin, The Saint Louis Art Museum, and Diaphne – Pole Photographique, of Montreuil, France.
Younger is currently working on two new collections of photographs. One is Grover Cleveland High School: Exploring an Abandoned Landmark. This collection consists of interior images of his former high school in Saint Louis, now abandoned in 2004. A year-long expedition in 2009/10 resulted in a book of the same name. In 2015 he was invited back to witness the further destruction that years of vandalism and neglect had caused. The images from this set of work were the genesis of a PBS/Nine Network documentary aired in spring of 2016. The collection made from this documentary is called “CHS Revisit 2015”
Another current portfolio are called the “Various Photographers” group, which now consist of two collections, Various Photographers of London and Paris, done in 2013 and Various Photographers of Italy done in the summer of 2015. Both collections are images of tourists photographing areas of interest while touring. From the catalog: “Photographing photographers - it seemed a natural decision to photograph Italy this way, for everywhere you wanted to be, everywhere you wanted to make a picture, there was a visitor with a camera, sometimes many visitors with cameras, all there in front of you and all there jostling for a picture.”
Younger prides himself in taking on and transforming subject matter in photography which are mostly the province of amateurs: vacations and children. His pictures of strangers enjoying (and photographing) themselves in vacation spots, called “Travel Places” has been shown across the US and was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Sheldon Galleries in St. Louis in February 2014. In the catalog to the Sheldon show, Director Olivia Lals- Gonzalas wrote “Photographer Dan Younger has culled together photographs of tourist spots in the United States from a variety of other projects, and has assembled them here for the first time. These images underscore the photographer’s interest in the idiosyncrasies of human behavior and the patchwork nature of public spaces. Made with the same sense of excitement as tourist photographs, the images reveal the photographer’s wonder about new places and people, yet are also a canny critique of travel and tourism.” Aline Smithson of LENSCRATCH says Younger’s work proves, “that normal life is even more odd and quirky than, well, things we consider odd and quirky. Dan explores human behavior on vacation, examining how we react to and inhabit spaces that are designed for leisure.”
Another portfolio, called “Some Kids” are photographs of children at parties and at play. This work was featured in “Photaumnales 2013” an international photo festival in the French town of Bueuvais, in September of 2013. Younger was the solo American invited to this international event. Aline Smithson of LENSCRATCH wrote, “Never before have so many fine art and documentary photographers turned their lenses on the world within the confines of their own front door. Photographers who document family are participant observers–caught between the decision to participate in familial activities or capturing their loved ones with photographic interpretation, sometimes at their expense. Dan Younger has created a portfolio called “Some Kids” that are photographs of children at parties and at play. He prides himself with transforming subject matter that is mostly the province of amateurs: vacations and children.”
Younger’s photographs have also been used in the sets of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, on ABC’s “Meet the Newlyweds” on Fox’s “ I Married a Stranger” and on VH1’s “Scot Baio is 45 - And Still Single” among others. Tony Marsh, Emmy winning director of “Newlyweds” wrote that Younger’s photographs are “bold and evocative. They do not merely document, but beckon you to wander around in the sublime space between first impression and fond memory”.
Younger teaches 4 seminar classes in photography: Advance Problems in Photography 1 & 2 and Senior Seminar in Photography 1& 2. He also teaches The History of Photography for Art History and Comics and Cartoon Illustration, a studio class. The comic books produced by the cartoon class (six in all) have been collected by two national cartoon museums, one in the US at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, and the Cartoon Museum in London, England. He recently offered a class in 19th century English Photography in the UK, touring UMSL students to various sites of historical significance in England.
Dan is a member of the Royal Photographic Society (UK), The Association for research of images of anthropology and art (France), and the Society for Photographic Education (US).
Office: 205 Fine Arts Building
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 1:00-2:00