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Allen Ayer Dutton

Allen Ayers Dutton was a renowned photographer and artist. Dutton was born in Kingman, AZ. He served four years in the British and American Armies in North Africa and the Middle East during WWII. After he returned to Arizona in 1946, Dutton attended ASU, and received a Master’s Degree in History with a minor in Art. In the 1950s, Dutton taught at North High School. Dutton founded the photography programat Phoenix College in 1960, and went on to become the department head and photography program director. While at Phoenix College, Dutton assembled a collection of works by some of the 20 th Century’s most important photographers, including Brett and Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Paul Caponigro and Minor White, and began an exhibition program at Phoenix
College. His exhibitions gained national recognition and exposed a generation of students to the works of these master photographers. Few college campuses were teaching photography in the 1960s, and Dutton quickly created a photography program considered one of the finest in the western United States. Dutton retired from teaching in 1982.


Dutton photographed every community in Arizona, and The Arizona Historical Society houses an archive of more than 25,000 of his photographs. He was also an accomplished painter, depicting the lives of wranglers on the legendary Rocking AD Ranch.
In 2010, the Allen A. Dutton Center for Photography, a suite of labs and classroom space at Phoenix College, was dedicated in the Fine Arts Building in recognition of Dutton’s lasting contributions to the College and the photography program. A prolific photographer, Dutton’s work is exhibited worldwide in numerous public collections, including the Center for Creative Photography, Yale University Art Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, Bibliotheque Nacionale in Paris, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. His published photographic books include Arizona Then and Now, Phoenix Then and Now, Strange But True: The Arizona Photographs of Allen Dutton, and Real to Surreal. In his later years, Dutton was a prolific writer of novels and poetry.

Mr. Dutton passed away in December 2017. He is survived by his three children, Nels Dutton, Elisabeth Dutton (David Bush), and Wendy Dutton (Paul Bussey). Dutton’s legacy at Phoenix College is memorialized through the Allen Dutton
Scholarship for PC students, supporting the next generation of great American artists.