Published: September 18, 2012
Pedro Guerrero, who began his long career as a photographer at age 22 by walking up to Frank Lloyd Wright’s home Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz., and introducing himself, died September 13; he was 95 years old.
Wright’s photographer for more than 20 years, Guerrero was born in Casa Grade, Ariz., in 1917, and grew up in Mesa. He fled to Los Angeles to join his brother at the Art Center School (now Art Center College of Design in Pasadena), signing up for the only classes that were open at the time, photography. And, as he often said, “I fell in love.”
Guerrero served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and then moved to New Canaan, Conn., where he worked as a photographer for artists and architects but continued his 20-year association with Wright, who died in 1959.
By midcentury, Guerrero’s body of work paralleled the activities of icons Julius Shulman and Ezra Stoller. He worked closely not only with architects, but also with artists such as Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson, with whom he had a close relationship.
He was Calder’s photographer for 13 years, and published Calder at Home: The Joyous Environment of Alexander Calder. He photographed sculptor Louise Nevelson’s work, as well as the work of other architects, including Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, Edward Durrell Stone and Philip Johnson. He also worked for many publications, shooting interiors and portraits for magazines such as Vogue, House & Garden and Harpers Bazaar.
His photographs have been featured in nearly every major publication by and about Wright since they were first published in the 1940 book In The Nature of Materials. His photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.
His last fine arts exhibition was a 2012 retrospective organized by the Julius Shulman Institute at Woodbury University and presented at the Woodbury Hollywood Gallery in California. Guerrero published many books, including Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey, published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2007.
Guerrero is survived by his second wife, Dixie L. Guerrero (his first wife, Barbara Smith, died in 1976), his daughters Susan Guerrero and Barbara Marchant; a son, Arthur Ben; two sisters, Maria Teresa Jaimes and Herminia Stechnij; a brother, Fernando; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A son, Peter Marc, died in 1998. He died at home with his family at hand.
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