Peter Glendinning
(517) 353-7798

219 Kresge Art Center
600 Auditorium Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyArt, Art History, and Design



Peter Glendinning earned the MFA in Experimental Studio at Syracuse University in 1978. Previous education included a BA in Photojournalism, a BA in Political Science, a BFA in Studio Art, and 2 years of study in the School of Law, all at Syracuse University. He studied with Lisette Model at the New School for Social Research in 1973.  Since 1978 he has been on the faculty of the Department of Art & Art History, presently at the rank of Professor. He has taught the full gamut of photography coursework, the Senior Seminar in Professional Practices, and developed the university’s first on-line photography course.  The series of five courses he co-authored and teaches on the Coursera platform, Photography Basics & Beyond, has enrolled many hundreds of thousands of learners from around the world, and extended MSU’s Land Grant mission to over 100 countries, since 2016.

His photographs are represented in the George Eastman House, University of Arizona/Tucson, Temple University, K-Mart Corp., and other public and private collections. His professional clients include GMAC, Fuji Film USA, Genovese Drugs, Panasonic, UAW, State Bar of Michigan, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, and other major corporations and entities, for which he has provided portrait and still-life photography for advertising, illustration, and other communications purposes.

He has served as President of the Midwest Region, Society for Photographic Education, and President/Vice-President/Board Member of the Photo-Imaging Education Association. He is regularly called on to serve on art exhibit juries, and has been a guest lecturer on professional practices in art at colleges in the United States and South Africa. He received the Paul Varg Arts & Letters Alumni Association Award for excellence in teaching in 2009. Other awards include: Individual Artist Grants from the Michigan Council on the Arts and from Unicolor Corporation; the ADDY Award; Citations of Excellence and numerous Gallery of Superb Printing Awards; the American Society of Media Photographers Best of 2015 Award; and, the Fulbright Scholar Award (service in South Africa 2019).

Artist Statement

My exploration of expression through the medium of photography continues to be centered on the balance between that element which makes photography so unique, the presence of the persons/places/things which were in front of the camera at the moment of exposure, and the purely personal expression which is in the photographer (most often behind the camera) at that same moment.

I am not much interested in manipulation of reality through digital editing for my photography, because it is so much more challenging to me to form content simply through the manner in which it is seen photographically, through “camerawork.”  The act of seeing new content through the means of the camera, lighting, and other activities in situ, comprise the creative act for me. Whether I am manipulating lighting, camera elements, vantage points, or arrangements of people/things, in the end for me there is the click of the camera, not the click of the mouse, to finish the expression.

University News

MSU Professor Creates Body of Work to be Exhibited Throughout South Africa
Published July 13, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
For seven months in 2019, Peter Glendinning, Professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design, traveled throughout South Africa to each of its nine…Read now »
Professor Looking to Open New Doors Through Fulbright Specialist Roster Tenure
Published July 15, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
After a seven-month Fulbright Scholar Service in South Africa in 2019, Peter Glendinning, Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, has been granted a four-year tenure…Read now »
Recent Alum Working in L.A. on Promotional Material for Upcoming Film
Published July 7, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
Man with short blonde hair and glasses smiling at the camera
Charles Benoit completed his B.F.A. in Studio Art: Photography from Michigan State University this past May and is now using the skills he gained as an undergraduate by working in Los Angeles on…Read now »
Professor Glendinning Receives William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award
Published March 11, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
In recognition of his comprehensive and sustained record of scholarly excellence, instruction, and outreach, Peter Glendinning, Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and…Read now »
Glendinning Returns to South Africa as a Fulbright Scholar
Published February 7, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
headshot of man wearing a black t-shirt
Twenty years after he first traveled to South Africa, Peter Glendinning, Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, has returned as a Fulbright Scholar to teach at Tshwane…Read now »
Exhibit Inspired by Teachings of MSU Professors Travels to Ireland
Published November 30, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
Two men standing next to each other looking at pictures in a photo exhibit
Starting at Michigan State University and traveling nearly 4,000 miles around the world, the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Galway, Ireland, hosted a photography exhibit at its Center…Read now »
Register Now for MSU Arts Weekend June 2020
Published November 29, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
Mark Sullivan and Peter Glendinning looking at photographs in a gallery
Photographs from 127 students from 39 different countries are now on display in Gallery 101 of Kresge Art Center through Friday, December 9. The photos represent the skills learned and work…Read now »
Fun Is Just A Snap Away
Published August 29, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
a shadow on a man taking a photo
Have you ever regretted not taking more “just for fun” classes during your time at MSU? Peter Glendinning, a longtime professor from the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, wants to…Read now »
Peter Glendinning Awarded ASMP Award
Published November 11, 2015 in College of Arts & Letters
man holding photograph portrait of himself
Peter Glendinning has been honored as one of 24 American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) “Best of 2015.” Founded in 1944, ASMP has more than 7,000 members and 39 chapters, and…Read now »