Leo Holub

A pioneer of photography as a fine art, Leo Holub co-founded the photography department at Stanford University in 1962 and built out the program’s studios and darkroom facilities himself. Leo Holub’s black and white photographs include images over the past 70 years, showing San Francisco as it once was seen through the eyes of Leo Holub. Leo’s photographs are on display in the M.H. de Young and Modern Art Museums in San Francisco.

He began shooting photographs of daily life when he received his first camera in 1930, when photography was only beginning to be accepted as an art form. His work poetically depicts life in the Bay Area since the mid-twentieth century. Leo attended the now historic F-64 group exhibition at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in 1932 which exhibited works by pioneering photographers such as Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham, who later became colleagues of Leo’s. Typically modest about his ties with such creative luminaries, Holub says of his friends, “I knew they were famous, but we all just got together.” Holub designed Adams’ 1963 book, An Introduction to Hawaii and the catalog for Adams’ 1963 show at the M.H. de Young Museum. Leo is not only an excellent photographer but is also an intrinsic part of San Francisco’s history in the 20th Century.

Holub's past exhibitions