Dick Blau

Department of Film
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
PO Box 413
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201


Ph.D. (1973) Program in American Studies, Yale University (The Body as Ground of Being in Four Novels by Herman Melville, Dissertation Advisor Harold Bloom);

B.A.  (1965) Department of English, Harvard College (phi beta kappa, magna cum laude)


Professor, Department of Film, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (co-founder and Chair 1979-1999);

Associate Dean, UWM Peck School of The Arts and Director of the Inter-Arts Program 1975-1979;

Associate Professor with tenure, Program in American Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo 1968-1975 (co-founder)

Awards and Commissions

2007 Wisconsin Arts Board Photographic Survey of Labor in Wisconsin; 

2003 Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Established Artists; 

1997 Wisconsin Center Public Art Program; 

1989 Focus Infinity Fund Commission; 

1984 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Graduate School Award for Research;

1978, 1980 Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship in Photography;

1966 Woodrow Wilson Fellowship; 1965 Fulbright Fellowship



Elephant House Photographs by Dick Blau, Text by Nigel Rothfels, Penn State University Press, 2015

Polka Heartland Photographs by Dick Blau’ Text by Richard March, Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2015

Skyros Carnival Photographs by Dick Blau,Text by Agapi Amanatidis and Panayiotis Panopoulos, cd/ dvd by Steven Feld, Voxlox, Santa Fe,  2011; 

Living With His Camera Text by Jane Gallop/Photographs by Dick Blau, Duke University Press, 2003;

Bright Balkan Morning: Romani Lives and the Power of Music Photographs by Dick Blau, Text by Angeliki Vellou Keil and Charles Keil, Soundscape by Steven Feld, Wesleyan University Press, 2002; 

Polka Happiness  Co-author with Charles and Angeliki V. Keil, Temple University Press,Visual Studies Series, 1992

The Body Impolitic:  Four Novels by Herman Melville Editions Rodopi, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1979


Thicker than Water: My Family in Photographs (1968-2018). Fifty years and two families in 110 pictures


Family Photography

The Beautiful is just the first degree of the Terrible Exhibition Catalogue, State Museum of Contemporary Art, pp. 116-7, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2009; 

The Mirror Stage Interdisciplinary Transcriptions 2009 

Pregnant Pictures eds. Sandra Matthews/Laura Wexler, p. 93, 2008

Sibling Rivalry I: The Persistence of Structure, Sibling Rivalry II: The Drama of the Moment, pp. 201-202; 220-221

Women’s Studies Quarterly Vol 34 No ¾ Fall-Winter 2006

The Familial Gaze ed. Marianne Hirsch, University of New England Press, pp.70, 72, 75,79,81,83, 1999 

Pictures of Innocence: The History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood Anne Higonnet, Thames and Hudson, p.213, 1998     

The Psychoanalysis of Water Discourse, Vol.l4, No.4, 1992  

Talking Pictures: Family Photos by Dick Blau, Frame/Work, Winter, 1989, (cover and pp.3-10); 

Thinking Through The Body, Jane Gallop, Columbia University Press,  (cover & p. 130), 1988 

Theory/Flesh Summer 1986, pp. 26-7, 1986

Dreamworks, Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall, 1985, pp. 12-13; 

SubStance 37/38, pp. 173-177, 1983

The Daughter’s Seduction:  Feminism and Psychoanalysis,  Jane Gallop, Cornell and Macmillan (cover) 1982  

Men by Women Janet Todd, ed. Holmes&Meier, p. 245, 1981; The North American Review, June, 1979, p.33

Ethnographic Photography

First of the Month, Volume IV, Issue II 12/31, Cover and pp. 16-18, 2002 

Deeper Polka Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2002 

PMLA, May, 2006, Volume121 No. 3 cover 

Bells and Winter Festivals of Greek Macedonia Soundscape by Steven Feld/Photographs by Dick Blau, Smithsonian Folkways 50401, 2002;

American Polka: Old Tunes and New  Sounds Trikont CD, LC 04270 (10 photos and cover) 2001

Soundscapes: Explorations of Music in a Changing World  Kay Kaufman Shelemay, W.W. Norton and Co. New York/London, p.195, 2001

American Roots Music, PBS Jim Brown, Director, 11 photos, 2006

Deep Polka Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, SFW 40088 (CD photo) 1998

What  is World Music? Exploring the Meaning of a Genre in Formation Robert Christgau, Village Voice, July 29, l997, pp. 57,63,66 

Music Grooves Charles Keil and Steven Feld, University of Chicago, p.215, 1994

My Music: Explorations of Music in Daily Life Susan D. Crafts, Daniel Cavicchi, Charles Keil, cover, 1993;

And My Children Did Not Know Me: History of the Polish-Americans John J. Bukowczyk, Indiana  University Press, p.63, 1987

New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol.X, No.3-4 p. 120, 1984

Selected Exhibitions / Screenings


Museum of Wisconsin Art, 2015, inova, Milwaukee, 2004

PhotoSynkeria  2004, Thessaloniki

Wooster Art Museum, 2003 

InPost ArtSpace, Albuquerque 2002

inova,  Milwaukee, 1999 

Frontier Airlines Center, Milwaukee (permanent installation), 1998 

PhotoSynkeria, Thessaloniki,  1994

Scala Galerie, Brno, 1992

Woodland Pattern Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1987 

Perihelion Gallery, Milwaukee, 1983 

CEPA, Buffalo, 1975

de Saisset Museum,  1975


2010-11 Images of Wisconsin Labor, Lawrence University, Watrous Gallery, Wisconsin

2009 Party Crashers, Concertina Gallery, Chicago

2004   Super Hits of the 70’s, Photographs  from the Milwaukee Art Museum Collection

2002 Texas Folklife Resources, Austin

2002, Squeezebox Communities, Witte Museum of Art, San Antonio (four person)

1999 The Time of Our Lives, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City

1996 The Familial Gaze, Hood Museum, Dartmouth College

1994 New Wisconsin Photography, Milwaukee Art Museum (three person)

1990 One Day of Mine Technike Museum, Brno

1990 Changing Chicago, Chicago Art Institute/Field Museum;

1988 Houston International Foto Fest (four person)

1987 Photographing Children, Santa Fe Center for Photography

1986 W.A. Graham Gallery, Houston, (two person)

1985 Nexus Gallery, First Atlanta Photo Salon, Atlanta

1983 Dick Blau/Steven Foster/Tom Bamberger, Basquin Gallery, Milwaukee

1978 Midwestern Photographers, John Michael Kohler Art Center,  Sheboygan,Wisconsin

Selected Collections

Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Fondazione Michele, Spoleto, Kosciuszko Foundation Archive of Polish-American Life, Mestske Kulturni Stredisko S.K. Neumanna, Brno, Frontier Airlines Center, Romani Archive, University  of Texas-Austin

Film & Video

2020 Milwaukee Night and Day (18 min video./color/sound)  The Suburban, Milwaukee, Oct-December 2020 

2016 ER( video/4.39/color/sound)

2014 Gunter and Tony Langeweg at Martin’s Tap (2.36/video/color/sound)

2013 Concertina Millie (1.29/video/color/sound)

2010 A Polish Easter in Chicago (9.42/video/color/sound) Cannes Festival of Short Films, 2011

1996  Oh, Rapunzel (in collaboration with Cecelia Condit) (35 min/video/color/sound) Museum of Modern Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Boston Museum of Fine Arts,Walker Art Center/Minneapolis, Dallas Video Festival,  Black Maria Film and Video Festiva (Director’s Choice), University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Boston Museum School, Athens Film and Video Festival, Ohio, Berlin Transmedia Festival, L.A. Freewaves, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Pacific Film Archives,  University  of California-Berkeley, University  of Wisconsin-Madison,  Universita’ Degli Studi de Trento, Trento, Italy, University  of Iowa, Hampshire College,Sun Joe Art Center, Seoul, Korea,University of California-Los Angeles  Collections: Museum of Modern Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wexner Center  for the Arts, University  of California, Berkeley; 1990   

1986 Jidyll (31 min/l6 mm/color/sound) Jerusalem Cinematheque, Museum of the Diaspora, Tel Aviv, Second International Week of New Music,Bucharest,  Mediawave ‘92, Gyor, Hungary,  University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin-Madison, New York University, Berlin Festival of New Jewish Music, University of Toronto,  Collections: Israel Film Archive; Research Center of Jewish History and Culture  in Poland, Jagiellonian University, Krakow; Haggerty Museum, Milwaukee; l986  

1982  Tintinnabula (in collaboration w Dawn Wiedemann (8 min/l6 mm/color/sound). Chicago Experimental Film Festival, Bonn International Short Film Festival,  25th Festival Internazionale Cinema Giovani de Torino, Ann Arbor Film Festival; 1982   1980 Up The Block One Sunday (l2 min/l6 mm/c/s)Tokyo Experimental Film Festival, Collection: Milwaukee Public Museum


1980  Hamlet Act Robert Nelson, 16mm, 30 minutes, b/w Collections: Folger Shakespeare Library, UCLA Archive of  American  Experimental Film

1985  Fish Story Stuart Sherman, 16mm, 1 m, b/w

1989   Used Innocence James Benning, 16 mm, 60 m

2006,  The Conqueror Worm Caroline Kastelic, 2.15m, 2011, Jeff, Chris James Thompson, 2012


Chris SmithAmerican Job, Sundance Film Festival,  1998;American Movie 1999 Sundance Film Festival Grand Prize for Documentary; Edinburgh  Film Festival Best of Festival,  Janet Maslin: Ten Best Films  of 1999 (New York Times); New York Times List of Best 1000 Films;

Bill Basquin Films and Videos, 2011 Museum of Modern Art “Modern Mondays” series;

Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson, SVEIT, 2010, Bush Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, Yaddow Residency

Diego Costa, Placebo, 2003, New York Mix Film Festival 2003,Toronto Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2004, Wisconsin Film Festival – 2004 Best Student Narrative,  Brasilia Gay Studies Conference (Brazil) 2004, Sao Paolo Festival of Short Films 2004

Chris James Thompson, Kyoko, MFF Production Prize 2009 Daniel Alegi, The Czar of Make Believe, 1999,  Rhode Island International Film Festival Grand Prize for Experimental Narrative, 2000,  Most Original Narrative, Voladero Film festival, Monterey, Mexico, 2001

Jason Morgan, The Greatest Lie Ever Told, 2002, Harvard Black Film Festival First Prize for Experimental  Film

Shilpa Singru  (co-advisor Cecelia Condit), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Age of Influence:Reflections  in the Mirror of American Culture, 2001