William ‘Bill’ Jay (12 August 1940 – 10 May 2009) was a photographer, a writer on and advocate of photography, a curator, a magazine and picture editor, lecturer, public speaker and mentor. He was the first editor of Creative Camera Owner magazine, which became Creative Camera magazine (1967–1969) and founder and editor of Album magazine (1970–1971).
He established the first gallery dedicated to photography in the UK with the Do Not Bend Gallery, London and the first Director of Photography at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Whilst there he founded and directed the first photo-study centre.
He studied at the University of New Mexico under Beaumont Newhall and Van Deren Coke and then founded the Photographic Studies programme at Arizona State University, where he taught photography history and criticism for 25 years.
He is the author of more than twenty books on the history and criticism of photography, four books of his own photography, and roughly 400 essays, lectures and articles. His regular column titled Endnotes was published within Lenswork magazine for a number of years.
His own photographs have been widely published, including a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Those are the facts but Bill Jay was so much more than just the facts…