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Robert Frerck Photography Collection


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description










Costa Rica



Dominican Republic

East Pacific






Great Britain




Hong Kong



Ivory Coast






New Zealand







Puerto Rico

South Africa


Sri Lanka




United States


West Pacific




Black and White Prints


Odyssey Productions Materials

Tear Sheets



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Robert Frerck Photography Collection | WUA University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Robert Frerck Photography CollectionAdd to your cart.

ID: WUA/04/wua00446

Primary Creator: Frerck, Robert

Extent: 30.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 10/17/2016

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Robert Frerck Photographs Collection consists of photograph transparencies of photographs taken by Robert Frerck for himself and for his stock photography company, Odyssey Productions, from various countries including the United Sates, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Panama, South America, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, India, Australia, and more.

Collection Historical Note

Robert Frerck was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1943. He studied art and graduated from Washington University in 1966. It was around this time that Robert first traveled to Spain and was inspired by the artwork and culture he discovered in Seville, Cordoba, and Granada. Upon returning to Chicago, he enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and later at the Illinois Institute of Technology, studying design, photography, and film and finding a strong connection between his work and the design work he had seen in Spain. While at IIT, Robert completed a number of experimental films, including “Nebula 1,” “Nebula 2,” and Phaethon, which were shown at experimental film festivals around the United States and Europe. “Nebula 2” was also included in a John Cage performance called HPSCHD performed at UIUC and in the TV series “The New Filmmakers,” narrated by Peter Fonda. “Stella” was produced as Robert’s thesis film for Charles Sharp’s filmmaking class at IIT. The 16mm film documents the life of Ray Slupik, captain of the ship Stella and the last commercial fisherman in Chicago. The film features the Stella sailing along the Chicago River and Ray and his crew fishing on Lake Michigan. After graduating from IIT with a Master's Degree, Robert traveled again to Spain and Morocco for three months to study the Moorish Culture. He returned to Chicago for three years to work for Goldsholl Associates and produce documentary and commercial films, expanding his knowledge of animation and writing in the process. In 1973, Robert left Goldsholl Associates to pursue his idea for a documentary about the influence of Moorish culture on Spanish culture and architecture/design. He and a friend (acting as translator and camera assistant) traveled in 1975 through Southern France, Spain, and Morocco. They worked on a shoestring budget for four months, living and traveling in a VW van and shooting on location with rare access to landmarks such as the Great Mosque in Cordoba, the Alcazar Palace in Seville, and the Alhambra palace in Granada. Additional footage was shot for four more films, focusing on the cities of Granada, Cordoba, Toledo, and Seville, but the projects were abandoned. Instead, the footage was incorporated into one longer film, titled "Al Andalus" and finished in 1976. After finishing “Al Andalus,” Robert decided to put behind documentary filmmaking in favor of more opportunities to travel. He founded the stock photography company Odyssey Productions in 1977 and took travel assignments from magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Travel and Leisure, The Smithsonian; United, Pan Am, and Eastern Airlines Inflight Magazines; National Geographic and Geo Magazine, and others. During this time he traveled for an average of 8 to 10 months a year and eventually worked in nearly 60 countries. Robert’s work also included extended educational projects in India, Africa, and South America, as well as several years spent shooting underwater photography with a marine biologist. In 1992, Robert incorporated four years of travel photography in Spain into the book “Eternal Spain,” which featured panoramic images of Spanish landscapes and traditional architecture and lifestyle. The book was used by the Spanish Ministry of Tourism as their promotional book during the 1992 World’s Fair in Seville and Barcelona Olympics. “Eternal Spain” led Robert to create another book, “Eternal Mexico,” in 1996, which received the “Lente de Plata” award for photographic excellence from the Mexican government. A third book set in Turkey was planned in the late ‘90s, but fell through due to changes in government.

~ Chicago Film Archives

Administrative Information

Repository: WUA University Archives

Access Restrictions: Open. Robert Frerck retains copyright to the materials to which the donor is copyright holder.  Any requests to license content from the materials will be directed to the donor and all fees will be paid directly from licensee to donor.  The Department of Special Collections will not broker any licensing agreements related to the materials while the University does not own the copyright of the materials.

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Source: Gift of Robert Frerck in October 2016.

Acquisition Method: Accession number WUA2016-101

Preferred Citation: [Item description]. From the [collection title, series, box, folder]. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Processing Information: Processed by Jasmine Han and Sarah Schnuriger in July 2017.

Finding Aid Revision History: Created by Sarah Schnuriger and Jasmine Han in July 2017.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Argentina],
[Series 2: Australia],
[Series 3: Bali],
[Series 4: Bolivia],
[Series 5: Canada],
[Series 6: Caribbean],
[Series 7: Chicago],
[Series 8: Chile],
[Series 9: Colombia],
[Series 10: Costa Rica],
[Series 11: Croatia],
[Series 12: Cuba],
[Series 13: Dominican Republic],
[Series 14: East Pacific],
[Series 15: Ecuador],
[Series 16: Egypt],
[Series 17: France],
[Series 18: Ghana],
[Series 19: Gibraltar],
[Series 20: Great Britain],
[Series 21: Greece],
[Series 22: Guatemala],
[Series 23: Hawaii],
[Series 24: Hong Kong],
[Series 25: India],
[Series 26: Italy],
[Series 27: Ivory Coast],
[Series 28: Kenya],
[Series 29: Malaysia],
[Series 30: Mexico],
[Series 31: Morocco],
[Series 32: Nepal],
[Series 33: New Zealand],
[Series 34: Nigeria],
[Series 35: Pakistan],
[Series 36: Panama],
[Series 37: Peru],
[Series 38: Philippines],
[Series 39: Portugal],
[Series 40: Puerto Rico],
[Series 41: South Africa],
[Series 42: Spain],
[Series 43: Sri Lanka],
[Series 44: Tanzania],
[Series 45: Thailand],
[Series 46: Turkey],
[Series 47: United States],
[Series 48: Uruguay],
[Series 49: West Pacific],
[Series 50: Yugoslavia],
[Series 51: Zimbabwe],
[Series 52: Miscellaneous],
[Series 53: Black and White Prints],
[Series 54: Duplicates],
[Series 55: Odyssey Productions Materials],
[Series 56: Tear Sheets],
[Series 57: Portfolio],
[Series 58: Books],