The 2020 Arnold Newman Prize For New Directions in Photographic Portraiture

About the Prize

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. In addition to the winner, the jury selects three finalists each year who are invited to participate in an exhibit at the Griffin Museum of Photography.

The Prize is generously funded by the Arnold & Augusta Newman Foundation and proudly administered by Maine Media Workshops + College. The Griffin Museum of Photography hosts the annual exhibition of work by the winner and three finalists each October.

announcing the 2020 Call for entries

The 2020 Call for Entry will be open from July 1- August 3, 2020. All entries are made through the platform Submittable.

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The jurors will select one (1) winner and three (3) finalists for the 2020 Arnold Newman Prize. The winner will receive $20,000. This prize is unrestricted and may be used however the winning artist wishes. The winner and three finalists will be officially announced in August 2020 and their work will be featured in an exhibit at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA from from October 1 to 23, with an opening reception on October 8. Artists will be responsible for shipping framed (or otherwise exhibition ready) work to/from the Griffin. In the event it is not possible to hold the awards and exhibition in person, due to impacts of COVID – 19, the awards will be held in a virtual event, and exhibited in an online format.

The jurors for the 2020 Prize are:

  • Makeda Best- Makeda Best is the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museums. Her exhibitions include: Time is Now – Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin’s America (2018) and Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art (2019).   She has written for numerous catalogs and journals, most recently for the National Gallery of Poland, Kunsthalle Mannheim, The Archives of American Art Journal, The James Baldwin Review and the Rhode Island School of the Design’s Manual. Her forthcoming book is Elevate the Masses – Alexander Gardner, Photography and Democracy in Nineteenth Century America (2020)She is co-editor of Conflict, Identity and Protest in American Art (2016). She has performed extensive service for the field, including as a juror for CENTER Santa Fe, as a reviewer at FotoFest and PhotoNola. She was most recently the 2020 juror for the Annual Exhibition of the Photographic Resource Center in Boston. She serves on the board of the CASE Art Fund. She holds a graduate degree in studio photography from the California Institute of the Arts and a PhD from Harvard University.
  • Dan Winters-Dan Winters is a photographer well-known for his celebrity portraiture, photojournalism, scientific photography and illustrations. He has won over two hundred national and international awards for his work, including a first place World Press Photo Award and the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography.  He was also honored by Kodak as a photo “Icon” in their biographical “Legends” Series.  His work appears in many national and international publications, including WIRED, The New York Times Magazine,The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, GQ, TIME, National Geographic and Rolling Stone. His advertising clients include HBO, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Nike, Facebook, Samsung, Netflix, Universal, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Comcast, Target, Sony, Atlantic Records, Electra Records, RCA and Interscope.  He has had multiple solo gallery exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles, and a solo exhibition at the Telfair Museum Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia.  His work is in the permanent collections at the National Portrait Gallery, Museum of Fine Art, Houston and The Harry Ransom Center.  His books include: Dan Winters Photographs, Dan Winters’ America: Icons and Ingenuity, Last Launch, Periodical Photographs, Road To Seeing, which chronicles his path to becoming a photographer, and his most recent book, The Grey Ghost, which is a selection from 30 years of his New York street photography.  He lives in Austin, Los Angeles, and Savannah with his wife and son.
  • Aline Smithson-Aline Smithson is a visual artist, editor, and educator based in Los Angeles, California. Best known for her conceptual portraiture and a practice that uses humor and pathos to explore the performative potential of photography. Growing up in the shadow of Hollywood, her work is influenced by the elevated unreal. She received a BA in Art from the University of California at Santa Barbara and was accepted into the College of Creative Studies, studying under artists such as William Wegman, Allen Ruppersburg, and Charles Garabian. After a career as a New York Fashion Editor working alongside some the greats of fashion photography, Aline returned to Los Angeles and her own artistic practice. he has exhibited widely including over 40 solo shows at institutions such as the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the Shanghai, Lishui, and Pingyqo Festivals in China, The Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco, the Center of Fine Art Photography in Colorado, the Tagomago Gallery in Barcelona and Paris, and the Verve Gallery in Santa Fe. In addition, her work is held in a number of public collections and her photographs have been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, PDN (cover), the PDN Photo Annual, Communication Arts Photo Annual, Eyemazing, Soura, Visura, Shots, Pozytyw, and Silvershotz magazines. Aline is the Founder and Editor- in-Chief of Lenscratch, a daily journal on photography, She has been an educator at the Los Angeles Center of Photography since 2001 and her teaching spans the globe. In 2012, Aline received the Rising Star Award through the Griffin Museum of Photography for her contributions to the photographic community. In 2014, Aline’s work was selected for the Critical Mass Top 50 and she received the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award from CENTER.

To learn what you’ll need to include in your submission, please see our Terms & Conditions page.

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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 Workshops + College 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 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.  

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History of the Prize

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

Since 2009, nine artists have been awarded the prize:

 

ARNOLD NEWMAN AND MAINE MEDIA WORKSHOPS

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 Workshops. 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 craft, a visionary photographer and 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 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, Rockport, March 2010