All material on this website copyright © 1955-2019 by David Plowden – All rights reserved.

DETAILED BIOGRAPHY

Origins and Education

Personal

Born Boston, MA, October 9, 1932

 

Father, Roger Stanley Plowden, 1902–1960

 

Mother, Mary Russell Butler, 1902–2001

 

Lived in New York City and Putney, VT, 1938-1962

 

Married Pleasance Coggeshall June 20, 1962;   divorced 1976

 

John Stanley Plowden born June 22, 1965

 

Daniel Coggeshall Plowden born March 2, 1967

 

Lived in Sea Cliff, Long Island, 1969–1976

 

Married Sandra Oakes Schoellkopf July 8, 1977

 

Moved to Winnetka, IL, 1978

 

Philip Schoellkopf Plowden born August 30, 1979

 

Karen Calkins Plowden born January 12, 1982

 

Education

The Putney School, Putney, VT, Class of 1951

 

Yale University, New Haven, CT, BA Economics, 1955

 

Private Study with Minor White and Nathan Lyons, Rochester, NY, 1959–1960

 

Selected Awards

Honored Image Maker Award

for a lifetime of distinguished achievement in photography presented by the Society of Photographic Education

Midwest Region, 2002

 

The Railroad History Award for “Significant Contribution to the Photographic Interpretation of

North America’s Railroading History,” 1989

 

The Wilson Hicks Award for “Outstanding Contributions to

Still Photography,” 1977

 

The Benjamin Barondess Award for Lincoln and His America, 1971

 

“I have been beset, with a sense of urgency to record those parts of our heritage which seem to be receding as quickly as the view from the rear of a speeding train. I fear that we are eradicating the evidence of our past accomplishments so quickly that in time we may well lose the sense of who we are.”

—David Plowden (from the Beinecke Library website)

 

​David Plowden’s photographs are represented in the permanent collections of numerous institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Beinecke Library at Yale University, the Center for Creative Photography, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution.

 

He has received numerous fellowships, grants and awards including a National Endowment for the Humanities, Smithsonian Institution Research Grant, and Guggenheim Fellowship.

Academic and Professional Appointments

Professional

Great Northern Railway, Willmar, MN, 1955–1956

 

American Express Company, New York, NY, 1957–1958

 

Assistant to O. Winston Link, New York, NY, 1958–1959

 

Assistant to George Meluso, New York, NY, 1960–1962

 

Self-employed photographer and writer, 1962–present

 

Academic Positions

Illinois Institute of Technology, Institute of Design, Chicago, IL    

- Visiting Associate Professor, 1978–1980    

- Associate Professor, 1980–1985 (awarded tenure 1982)

 

University of Iowa, School of Journalism, Iowa City, IA     

- Lecturer, 1985–1988

 

University of Baltimore, Institute for Publications Design, Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts, Baltimore, MD     

- Artist-in-Residence and Senior Fellow, 1990–1991

 

Grand Valley State University, Communications Arts and Humanities Division, Allendale, MI -Visiting Professor, 1988–1990, 1991–2007

 

Selected Fellowships, Grants and Commissions​​​​​​​​​​​

Humanities Iowa, 2012

Iowa Humanities Board and National Endowment for   the Humanities, 1987–1988

State Historical Society of Iowa, 1987–1988

Baird Foundation, 1987

Seymour H. Knox Foundation, 1987

Chicago Historical Society, 1980–1984

The New York Botanical Gardens and Society, 1978

H. E. Butt Foundation, 1977

Department of Transportation and the Smithsonian Institution, 1975–1976

Smithsonian Institution Research Grant, 1970–1971

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 1968

New York State Council on the Arts, 1965, 1967

The Committee of Advisors to the Federal Highway Administrator, 1966–1967

The Commission on Architecture and Urban Design, Binghamton, NY, 1966

Columbia University, New York, NY, 1962–1966

 

Selected photographs in Permanent Collections​

Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, University of Maryland, Catonsville, MD

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, New Haven, CT

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Buffalo, NY

Burchfield Art Center, Buffalo, NY

California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA

Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

Chicago History Museum, Chicago, IL

Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA

Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

International Center of Photography, New York, NY

George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, NY

Humanities Iowa, Iowa City, IA

The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL

Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington, DC

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

The State Historical Museum of Iowa, Des Moines, IA

University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville, VA