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David H. Curl Gallery

Rotunda Collection

Mary Tolbert says it was obvious from the first day she arrived at University School that David Curl had a gift.  Although barely 14 years of age, Curl had already been a photographer for half of his life.  Anyone who saw Dave's equipment knew he was serious.  When others were thinking of putting away their parent's old Brownie and moving up to a 35mm camera--David Curl was already shooting sheet film with a photojournalist's Speed Graphic camera, high-speed focal-plane shutters and the very first Strobe Flash anyone had seen.  Young Curl's skills and equipment produced images of staggering  power, great beauty, delicate timing and compelling composition.


Those in the arts were the first to recognize that young Curl had a master's eye for composition. No one doubted that Dave Curl would be the best photographer in the history of University School, but few might have imagined that he would become one of the great image makers of the 20th Century.  His many college text books on photography and imaging include Photo/imaging : how to communicate with camera and computer, published in 1997.


Curl graduated in the class of 1950. He remembers being Class President as the highlight of his years on Woodruff Avenue. Dana Vibberts, another talented photographer in Dave's class, also photographed University School with Speed Graphic. Together, Curl's and Vibberts' University School images were captured mostly between 1947 and 1950--although Curl continued to shoot special events until at least 1952.   


To no one's surprise, photography became Dave Curl's life's work. The first to hire Curl after graduation were Herb Coon, and Edgar Dale, who commissioned Dave to produce images and illustrations for the Handbook for University School Parents.  His friend Dana Vibberts went on to a distinguished career as a professor in the OSU Department of Photography.


During his 50 year career, Dave Curl earned his living as photo-journalist, US Air Force photo intelligence officer and university professor.  He and Ardyce Czuchna-Curl make their home in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


We honor David Curl for the pictorial legacy of University School and for his lifetime contribution to his art and his community.


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David H. Curl Collection

About The David Curl Collection
The David Curl Collection is comprised of hundreds of prints and negatives captured in and around University School between 1947 and 1952. Most were donated to the Ohio State University Archives -- as a permanent part of the University School Collection, but some of the best, were recently donated to the Rotunda Foundation archives of the Alumni Association of University School.

The Dave Curl Legacy

Many former students of University School have enjoyed great success in life, but few of us were professionals in our fields of endeavor at age 14.  Dave Curl was an exception.  Along with his friend and classmate, Dana Vibberts, Curl recorded the word around him in breathtaking detail and with compassion for his subject.

We honor Dave Curl for the priceless photographic legacy he left behind when he left the school over a half century ago.


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Other Works From David H. Curl

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