Photographer Oliver Atkins Saw the Rise and Fall of Two 20th Century Cultural Icons


Oliver Atkins at the Great Wall of China during Nixon's trip of February 1972. From the Oliver F. Atkins Photograph Collection.

Oliver Atkins (1917-1977) photographed some of the world’s most recognizable individuals and created some of the world’s most recognizable images.  A photographer for The Saturday Evening Post from 1946-1968, Atkins captured both the national/ international political scene and human interest stories from mid-century America.

In a recent article, The Saturday Evening Post explores Atkins’ somewhat ironic historical connection with Richard Nixon and Alger Hiss. The article can be found at:

The Ollie Atkins Photograph Collection contains photographs, negatives, and contact sheets dating from 1943 to 1974. The images, numbering nearly 57,000, are representative of his work with The Saturday Evening Post and the United States government as official photographer to President Nixon. A small sampling from the Oliver Atkins Collection can be viewed at:

For more information about the Oliver Atkins Collection or other collections in Special Collections and Archives, please visit

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