Michael Geissinger photographs

RIT Archives

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Biographical Information for Michael Geissinger
Scope and Content
Additional Finding Aids
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Michael Geissinger photographs
Geissinger, Michael
Inclusive Date(s)
Photographs taken by Michael Geissinger during his time as a White House staff photographer for President Lyndon B. Johnson. The pictures capture both Johnson's political and personal life. The collection also includes a small file of biographical material.
1.8 Linear feet (1 lid box)
C.S. Mid-Range, Shelf 62
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557

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Biographical Information for Michael Geissinger (Collapse)

Michael A. Geissinger grew up in Huntingdon, PA. After graduating from the Huntingdon Area High School in 1960, he enrolled at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the School of Photography. At the time, RIT was one of the only schools on the east coast that had a department strictly dedicated to the field of photography. While at RIT, Geissinger was involved in numerous activities including the ski club, the Lettermen's club, and the varsity fencing squad. He graduated from the university in 1964 with a B.F.A. in photography.

Shortly after leaving RIT, Geissinger joined the U.S. Air Force. His photography skills were put to use when he accepted a position as the photographer for the Walker Air Force Base's (New Mexico) newspaper. In 1966, Geissinger was assigned as one of four White House staff photographers. The position entailed documenting Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency through photographs. When Geissinger completed his service in the Air Force six months later, he was brought on as a civilian employee. He remained on the White House staff for the next two years, covering the remaining portion of Johnson's administration.

Following his work in Washington, DC, Geissinger accepted a position as Director of Photography at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. In this position, he oversaw the production of public relations photography for the university including a four-page story for LIFE magazine (1971).

Geissinger returned to RIT in September 1971. As a professor, he taught courses in photojournalism, as well as introductory photographic illustration. He received his Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) degree from the university in 1977. Then, in 1985, he was selected to participate in a ten-week faculty exchange program at the Shanghai University of Technology in the People's Republic of China.

In 1986, Geissinger left RIT and began working as a freelance photographer in the Washington, DC region. He was actively involved in the White House News Photographers' Association, even serving one term as president of the organization. In 2001, he began serving as the publisher/editor of the Alexandria Guide Magazine. As of 2010, he was still living in the Washington, DC area.

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

The Michael Geissinger photographs are prints of images captured by Geissinger during his tenure as a White House staff photographer. The photographs date from 1966-1968 and include images of President Lyndon B. Johnson in various situations. For instance, there is a photograph of Johnson reviewing U.S. troops in Guam, as well as a picture of him playing with his grandson. All prints are 13.25"x19.5". The negatives for these prints are located at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum.

There is also a small assortment of biographical material in the collection. This consists of a transcript from an interview Geissinger gave about the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) photography program, a clipping about Geissinger's arrival as a faculty member at the university, and a clipping on an exhibit of Geissinger's work.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

Biographical materials are housed in a single folder toward the front of the collection, followed by Geissinger's prints.

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Additional Finding Aids (Collapse)

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Michael Geissinger photographs

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Geissinger, Michael
  • Johnson, Lyndon B., (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Photographs


  • Photojournalists


  • Photojournalists -- Washington (D.C.) -- 1950-1970


  • Interviews
  • Photographs

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

Michael Geissinger photographs, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID


Source of Acquisition

The photographs in the collection were a gift from Michael Geissinger.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in December 2010.

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Related Materials (Collapse)

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