Biographical / Historical
Robert J. Doherty (1924-2019) was a prolific photographer, designer, printer, and educator who founded the University of Louisville Photographic Archives. Raised outside of Boston, Doherty served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1951 from the Rhode Island School of Design, and his Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Art in 1954. He moved to Louisville, Kentucky in 1954 to work as the Director of Design at Reynolds Metals Company. In 1959 Doherty was recruited to join the University of Louisville faculty to teach graphic design where became full professor in 1965, served as chair of the University’s Fine Arts Department and Allen R. Hite Art Institute from 1967 to 1972. Doherty founded the Photographic Archives in 1962 and was responsible for the acquisitions of the Roy E. Stryker papers, the Standard Oil New Jersey collection, and many other significant photographic collections housed there. In 1972, Doherty became Director of the George Eastman House & International Museum of Photography in Rochester, New York and then in 1981 worked as the Director of the Salt Lake Art Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Doherty moved to Alfred, New York in 1984 to join the faculty of Alfred University where he was chair of Graphic Design. After retiring 1992, Doherty became Printer in Residence at Wells College in Aurora, New York where he founded the Wells College Book Arts Center. Doherty started the small art book press, Clandestine Press, in the 1960s and continued it until 2012. In 2010 Doherty was awarded a Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa from the University of Louisville.