The Arnold Newman Prize For New Directions in Photographic Portraiture.

The 2023 Arnold Newman Prize Winner, Finalists and Honorable Mentions have been announced

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The Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture is a $20,000 prize awarded annually to a photographer whose work demonstrates a compelling new vision in photographic portraiture. The jury will select a Top Ten, from which the winner and three finalists will be chosen. In addition to the winner, the three finalists are invited to participate in an exhibit at the Griffin Museum of Photography and receive a $250 stipend. The Prize is generously funded by the Arnold & Augusta Newman Foundation and proudly administered by Maine Media.

The recipient of the 2023 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture will be honored at the Visionary Awards dinner to be held in Rockport, Maine on Saturday, September 30, 2023.

The Griffin Museum of Photography hosts the annual exhibition of work by the winner and three finalists each October. This year’s exhibition will be on exhibit at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA from October 19th through October 29th. There will be a reception for the exhibit on Saturday, October 21st 4 – 6pm. The online exhibit will run October 19 – November 23, 2023.

The 2023 Jurors

Jurying will begin once the call for entries has closed. The 2023 jury consists of Sarah Leen, Caleb Cain Marcus, and Lisa Elmaleh. All submissions will be reviewed by the jurors. All jurying will be done anonymously. All decisions made by the jurors are final.

Sarah Leen

Credit: Jared Soares

In 2013 Sarah Leen became the first female Director of Photography at National Geographic Partners. In late 2019 she founded the Visual Thinking Collective, a community for independent women photo editors, creative directors, teachers and curators dedicated to visual storytelling.

For nearly 20 years she worked as a freelance photographer for the National Geographic magazine until 2004 when she joined the staff as a Senior Photo Editor.

Leen currently works with individual photographers and agencies consulting and editing projects and books including the America, Again project by the VII Photo, the 2020 FotoEvidence and World Press Photo Book Award winner HABIBI by Antonio Faccilongo and Anders Wo by Petra Barth.

Caleb Cain Marcus

Caleb Cain Marcus Profile Picture

Caleb Cain Marcus is head of Brooklyn based design studio Luminosity Lab, known for developing the creative strategy, and leading the design of publications for museums, galleries, publishers, and artists.

He has a passion for building meaningful concepts through strong ideas, typography, design and collaboration.

Cain Marcus’ work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, AIGA and Tokyo Type Directors Club.

He received his MFA from Columbia University and has work in the collections of the Getty and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lisa Elmaleh

Lisa Elmaleh Profile Picture

Lisa Elmaleh is an American visual artist, educator, and documentarian based in Hampshire County, West Virginia. She specializes in large-format work in tintype, glass negative, and celluloid film. Since 2007, she has been traveling across the US documenting American landscapes, life, and culture.

Born in Miami, Florida (1984), Lisa completed a BFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2007, during which time she was awarded the Silas Rhodes Scholarship. Upon graduating, she received the prestigious Tierney Fellowship to work on a project that evolved into an in-depth visual documentation of the impact of climate change on the Everglades. The culmination of this project resulted in a book titled Everglades published in 2016 by Zatara Press. 

Elmaleh’s work has been exhibited nationwide and recognized by the Aaron Siskind FoundationPuffin FoundationThe Tierney Foundation, amongst others. Her work has been published by Harper’s Magazine, Smithsonian MagazineCNN, The New York TimesNational GeographicOxford American, Garden & Gun, and NPR, amongst others.

Lisa recently won the 2022 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture with her series ‘Promised Land‘.

The Mission

Arnold Newman had an insatiable fascination with people and the physical world around him. In his work, he constantly explored the boundaries of portraiture and embodied the spirit of artistic innovation. He was also a passionate teacher–he taught at Maine Media every summer for over 30 years.  In honor of Arnold’s legacy as both a photographer and mentor, The Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture recognizes excellence in a new generation of photographers by awarding $20,000 to a winning photographer and elevating the work of the winner and three finalists in the press and through an exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography. The prize, the second largest in the United States, is designed to assist the winner in continuing the pursuit of their work and to serve as a launching pad for the next phase of their careers.

History of the Prize

The prize was established in 2009 by the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation. Maine Media has proudly administered the prize since 2016. Beginning with the 2017 prize, three finalists are selected each year in addition to the winner. In 2018, Maine Media partnered with the Griffin Museum of Photography to host an annual exhibition of work by the winner and finalists each year.

Past Winners:

Arnold Newman and Maine Media

Arnold Newman began his relationship with Maine in the late 1970’s, traveling from his home in New York City each summer to join a host of other renowned photographers in Rockport, who were teaching at the Maine Photographic Workshops, now known as Maine Media. For Arnold, Maine was a place of inspiration and rejuvenation and the Workshops a place to see old friends, be immersed in photography and share his work and experiences through teaching. He never came to Maine for just his workshop; it was always a longer stay. For more than thirty years, Arnold and his wife Augusta were vital influences among the Workshops community.

I first met Arnold at the Workshops in the summer of 1990. On a hot summer night, I sat in the crowded Union Hall Theater to listen to his lecture and see the images illustrating his long and extraordinary life as a photographer. It was a lecture he would give every year, and each year, he would begin by asking the young photographers in the audience if they knew of the notable subjects in his photographs – always imploring that we must know our history, telling his audience, “we learn from the past.”

It would be a very long lecture. Arnold loved to tell stories. His stories are pretty hard to beat – how many people can share with you their personal account of photographing the man responsible for curing polio ­ or, every President since Truman? Photographing Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, on the day the Anne Frank House opened to the public or­ nearly every artist of note in the 20th century? About spending a day with Picasso? Being with Arnold was like being with a walking, talking history book.

I, like so many others in that crowded Union Hall Theater for Arnold’s slide show, was captivated by the way each image appeared to emerge from the innermost essence of the sitter. These were not ordinary pictures of people. Rather, they evinced the spirits of individuals engaged in their various pursuits, their innermost psyches, and their most honest moments. He has provided the world some of the most memorably significant and truest depictions of important figures in the areas of politics, sciences, and of course, the arts. For many admirers of these subjects, Arnold’s are the quintessential images.

During his extended visits to the Workshops, Arnold would act as an unofficial artist­ in­ residence. Many would enjoy the company of Arnold and Augusta for meals under the dining tent, where Arnold would regale his listeners with yet more stories. After all, he had a lifetime of extraordinary experiences to share! Frequently, Arnold would ask young photographers to come sit with him and would ask to see their work. On more than one occasion, one of those informal portfolio reviews launched the career of a now well­ regarded photographer.

Arnold was always a teacher, when he was in the classroom, delivering a lecture, or even just sharing a meal. To learn from Arnold, was to learn from a great master of the craft, a visionary photographer and a genuinely learned man. He helped many understand, in a most profound way, what it is to be an artist. I am now a teacher. My students know that I do so love to tell “Arnold” stories, stories of my time working with him ­and to recount his many stories as a way to teach history. To a great extent, it was through these stories that I learned.

The life and work of Arnold Newman have had a tremendous impact on the world, on those who know him only through his photographs as well as on those who have had the great fortune to know him personally. He shared with the world his keen observations of the great figures in our history; now, he is a part of that history and an indelible part of the history of the Workshops.

~ Elizabeth Thomsen Greenberg, Maine Media Provost.

Header image by Rashod Taylor, 2021 Arnold Newman Prize winner.

Register your interest below and we will let you know when the 2024 Arnold Newman Prize call for entries is open:

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact