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Michael Geissinger photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0046

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1966-1986


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

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.


1.8 Linear Feet (1 lid box)




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 which includes a typed transcript from an interview with Geissinger about RIT and the photo program.


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

Physical Location

C.S. Mid-Range, Shelf 62

Other Finding Aids

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

Michael Geissinger photographs

Immediate 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.

Michael Geissinger photographs
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
15 December 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA