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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Venning P. Hollis

Dates:  1883, 26 August - 1976, February
Died:  US, OR, Seattle area
 
  

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Venning P. Hollis
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

 
  
Venning P. Hollis was born on August 26, 1883. He was very active in the Minneapolis Camera Club during the 1930s and 1940s, serving as its president in 1936-37, after being vice-president the previous season, and frequent winning monthly competitions. He had an unusually long tenure on the jury of the club’s annual salons, serving every year from 1934 to 1943, and in 1948. His work was accepted in the Minneapolis salon from 1932 to 1947.
 
From about 1928 into the 1940s, Hollis was the head of the University of Minnesota’s photographic laboratory, located on its farm campus in St. Paul. Among the regular work he performed was making microphotographs for the departments of agriculture, bacteriology, entomology, forestry, geology, home economics, and zoology. In 1940, the staff of the university’s art gallery was so impressed with the creative nature of these pictures, that they packaged forty-five of them as a traveling show that was seen at Moorhead (Minnesota) State College, the Thayer Museum of Art (University of Kansas, Lawrence), and Mills College (Oakland, California). Five years later, Hollis was invited to show his microphotographs at the New York World’s Fair, where they were praised for their unusual technique and variety of subject matter. In 1947, he won second placed in the First Photography in Science Salon, sponsored by Scientific Monthly.
 
As a pictorialist, Hollis made portraits, landscapes, and figure studies. Throughout most of the 1930s and 1940s, his photographs were presented at salons in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Duluth, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Princeton, St. Louis, San Diego, and Seattle, in addition to Minneapolis. The cover of the May 1939 issue of Camera Craft reproduced a print of his showing a tree in winter that had been accepted at the First San Francisco International Salon. Camera magazine also printed one of his images, in December 1945. Venning P. Hollis left Minnesota in the mid-1950s and died in the Seattle area in February 1976. 
  
Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012) 
  
This biography is courtesy and copyright of Christian Peterson and is included here with permission. 
  
Date last updated: 1 June 2013. 
  
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Portraits 
  
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