In 1966, Henry Wilhelm ’68, with photography and writing assistance from John Phillips ’67, John Wolf ’66, and Robert Hodierne ’68, created a yearbook that captured the place and people of Grinnell. More a series of photo essays than a traditional yearbook, the project has an aesthetic that is captivating even today. The College administration, however, found the content a little too real, asked to have sections removed, and when they couldn’t come to an agreement with the editors, refused to allow its publication. It was eventually published in 1986. This exhibition of selected images is the result of Wilhelm’s complete digital remastering of the images for online access.
About the Photographers
Robert Hodierne '68 dropped out of Grinnell College in 1966 with plans to document the Vietnam War. He was quickly signed up as a combat photographer by United Press International –the youngest American war correspondent in Vietnam. He returned to Grinnell and after graduating, returned to Vietnam as a journalist working for the Army’s Stars and Stripes newspaper. Throughout a 40-year journalism career, Hodierne has been a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, editor, and photographer for newspapers, wire services, magazines, radio, television and the Internet. Hodierne currently teaches documentary journalism and video at the University of Richmond. In June, his new documentary film “Afghanistan: The Surge” will be distributed to PBS stations throughout the country.
Henry Wilhelm '68, an internationally recognized expert on photographic preservation, is the director of research at Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. He has been a preservation consultant to numerous collecting institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Corbis documentary photography collections owned by Bill Gates. In 2007 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Photoimaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association for his work on the evaluation of the permanence of traditional and digital color prints. In 2011 Wilhelm received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Grinnell College.
John Phillips '67 spent his life in photography and documented the civil rights movement, protests against the Vietnam War, and disadvantaged as well as disenfranchised people in both the United States and Canada. After leaving Grinnell, Phillips went on to a successful career as a documentary photographer, video producer, and co-founder of a photography gallery in Toronto, Canada. With director Clay Boris, he made a number of award-winning films (Paper Boy, Rose’s House, and Alligator Shoes). One of Phillip’s longest-running and most loved projects was documenting the vibrant Baldwin Street neighborhood of Toronto. Phillips passed away in January 2010.
John Wolf '66, who wrote the yearbook text with Wilhelm, has followed a career as a science writer and editor in various academic departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been involved in freelance editing and in the publication of scientific journals, and has also pursued interests in photography, the history of science, and vertebrate paleontology.
Photograph © 1966 and 1986 Henry Wilhelm '68