Robert Frank To Judge Honickman First Book Prize In Photography

Feb 17, 2006

DURHAM, NC – Robert Frank, one of the world's most influential photographers, will judge the third Honickman First Book Prize in Photography competition sponsored by The Honickman Foundation in Philadelphia, PA, and The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in Durham, NC.

Frank gained attention as a prominent photojournalist with his visionary photographs of postwar America with his book The Americans in 1958, a documentary study of the United States by the Swiss photographer that was funded by a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation. As a filmmaker, his movies included Pull My Daisy, OK, End Here, and Me and My Brother. He's the winner of the Cornell Capa Award from the International Center of Photography in New York, and the International Photography Award from the Hasselblad Foundation in Sweden.

The winner of the Honickman First Book Prize in Photography receives a $3,000 USD grant, publication of a book of their photography, and a traveling exhibit of their work. The competition's judge writes the introduction for the book, which will be published by Duke University Press in association with CDS Books of the Center for Documentary Studies.

The Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is a prestigious biennial prize for American photographers. The only prize of its kind, the competition is open to American photographers of any age who "have never published a book-length work and who use their cameras for creative exploration, whether it be of places, people, or communities; of the natural or social world; of beauty at large or the lack of it; of objective or subjective realities. The prize will honor work that is visually compelling, that bears witness, and that has integrity of purpose," the CDS says.

Photographer and writer Robert Adams was the prize's inaugural judge, and he picked photographer Larry Schwarm of Kansas as the winner for his series of color photographs of dramatic prairie fires that take place each Spring in Kansas. His book, On Fire, is now in its second printing by Duke University Press.

Maria Morris Hambourg, a photographic curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, judged the second competition and picked a photography professor from the Rhode Island School of Design, Steven B. Smith, as the winner for his black and white photographs of "the surreal intersection of suburbia and the desert in California, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado, where sprawling suburbs are reconfiguring what was once vast unpopulated territory," published by Duke University Press as the book The Weather and a Place To Live: Photographs of the Suburban West.

Submissions for the next competition, following guidelines format, must be postmarked between June 10 and September 12, 2006. The winning photographer will be announced publicly in January 2007. The book will be published in fall 2007. A traveling exhibition will be curated every third competition, beginning in 2007.

For more information about the prize, see the CDS Web site here.