From Photographer to Publisher & The Art of Milford Zornes

Story by: Lydia Plunk - Photos by: Gene Sasse


How does a photographer make the leap to publisher? When the needs of a client make it logical.  This story begins with the CCAA Museum of Art being selected by the family of the late Milford Zornes to hold an annual showing of the internationally renowned California plein air artist.

Zornes started life with a tumbleweed existence. Born in Oklahoma in 1908, as a child Zornes moved to Idaho and California with his family. As a young man he hitchhiked across America: working the docks in New York before shipping to Europe. He finally set roots in California, studying art in 1927 at the prestigious Otis Art Institute before being mentored by Millard Sheets. Artistic acclaim came quickly when President Franklin D. Roosevelt hung a Zornes painting in the White House in 1933. 

The chairperson of the Zornes Committee recently purchased 2 copies of Maloof Beyond 90. That led to a request for my thoughts on producing a book on the Zornes show for the Museum.  

This being the Museum's first project with attaching a book to a show, the time and complexity of book publishing was understandably underestimated. They thought they only needed a photographer and a printer. They came to understand they needed a publisher.  
What does a publisher do? The publisher is the the lead coordinator with ultimate responsibility. My experience as a photographer, author and webmaster intersected with my knowledge of the specific project, making the expansion of my role natural.




As publisher, I was able to save the museum money through tight control of overhead costs and working knowledge of the steps to bring the book from concept to life. The book, from the start to delivery, was produced within budget and in 2 ½ months. 
The Art of Milford Zornes: from Private Collections a 96 page soft cover book (ISBN 978-0-9842797-0-8) is now available for purchase at the CCAA Museum of Art. If you are available the afternoon of January 24, 2010, the CCAA Museum of Art invites you to attend a reception to celebrate the life and works of Milford Zornes. With your paid reservation, this book is included at no additional charge.


  "We were very fortunate to have Gene's service and commitment for the Milford Zornes exhibit. He had visions related to the exhibit we might not have considered without him. His enthusiasm and follow through led to a book which was delivered on-time and of high quality."  Bill Anderson, Owner of Anderson Art Gallery in Sunset Beach, also painted with  Milford Zornes    
Gene Sasse © 2010 | | 909-941-3993