The Dean Dixon Photograph Collection mostly depicts Dixon's professional career as an orchestral conductor from the 1940s to the 1970s. The collection consists of views of Dixon conducting orchestras, as well as studio portraits, candid shots, and group portraits with musicians, singers and public figures, many used for publicity purposes. Depictions of his personal life are limited.
A large part of the collection are views of Dixon conducting mostly unidentified orchestral rehearsals, performances, and recording sessions in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Czechoslovakia, England, Germany, Japan and the United States. Included is a photo album documenting a concert Dixon conducted in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (1959), which contains a program and newpaper clippings of the event. Among the studio portraits of Dixon are two portrait studies, one by Studio Deux Soeur and the other by H. Blume. Dixon is also depicted rehearsing with singers Grace Bumbry, Heather Harper, and Jessye Norman; cellist Pierre Fournier; trumpeter Maurice André; and pianist Abbey Simon. He is shown at various events with singers Gloria Davy and Marian Anderson, pianist Walter Gieseking; composer Vladimir Dukelsky (Vernon Duke); Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands; Queen Elizabeth II; and New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay, among others. Documentation of Dixon's personal life show him with his mother, wives and children, as well as views of him participating in a graduation ceremony at Columbia University. Images of Dixon's childhood and early adulthood consist of a studio portrait of him holding a violin; and views of him as member of a musical group at the Harlem YMCA (New York, N.Y.) at age 14 as well conducting the All-American Youth Orchestra.