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Renowned Photographer Nathan Lyons Dies at 86

Sep 2, 2016

Nathan Lyons cir. 1980
Credit Alice Wells/Visual Studies Workshop

 Nathan Lyons, a longtime Rochester resident known for his work in contemporary photography, has died at the age of 86.

The former curator associate director of the George Eastman House, now known as the George Eastman Museum, founded the Visual Studies Workshop in 1969.

Current Eastman Museum curator of photography Lisa Hostetler said Lyons will be remembered for creating a photography community as well as his photography itself.

"I think his contribution was not only to show us how we could see the world a little differently, but also to create sequences with photographs,” she said. “In his writings and his work, it's really the accumulation of these impressions that he was looking at as his artwork."

Hostetler said Lyons saw abstractions in the world and had a philosophical and poetic view on life that was reflected in his photographs.

"His work, I think, just really makes me slow down and look at the world around me more carefully."

Lyons’ photographs were exhibited in several major museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He published six books of his work including After 9/11Riding 1st Class on The Titanic and Works in Progress. Lyons started the Society of Photographic Education, a professional group for photography teachers, photo historians and curators.

The Visual Studies Workshop has an exhibit of Lyon's work at  http://www.vsw.org/online/nathan-lyons/