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November 2, 2013
Boston University
Trustee Ballroom
1 Silber Way
Boston, MA

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16. Marie Cosindas

Tom Wolfe, New York, 1967/2013
Archival Inkjet Print
Signed Recto & Verso, 11 x 14 in.
Courtesy of the artist


Born in 1925 in Boston, Massachusetts, Cosindas is regarded as one of the pioneers of color photography. Early in her career, she did not consider herself a photographer, but rather a designer. After studying painting at the Boston Museum School, she worked as a designer until 1960. It wasn’t until she participated in one of Ansel Adams’ photography workshops in Yosemite Valley in 1961 that she began to view her photography as something more than a design tool. The following year, when Polaroid was looking for people to test out their new Polacolor instant film, Adams recommended Cosindas. Over the coming years, Cosindas embraced the process and played an instrumental rolein the advancement of color photography.

Cosindas was a master at manipulating exposures using available light and color filters, as well as the film development process. By doing so, she was able to create stunning portfolios with distinct tonality and saturation that were unmatched. Her best-known work includes series of still lifes and color portraits of many prominent figures of the time, all of which take on a unique painting-like quality.

Her work was first featured in a solo show in 1966 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, one of the museum’s first exhibitions to feature color photography. The following year, Cosindas had solo shows at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA), the Art Institute of Chicago (IL), and the Spoleto Festival in Italy. In the coming years, she began to appear in all types of notable publications, including Camera and Life, and by the end of the decade, she was considered one of the best-known photographers in the United States. Today, her work is held in many major institutional collections, including the Smithsonian Institute (Washington DC) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).

To purchase this photograph
To place an absentee bid, please contact Laura Norris, Membership & Communications Manager, at or at 617-975-0600.



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Keynote Speaker
Peter Galassi
Former Curator of Photography,
Museum of Modern Art

Lifetime Achievement Award presented by
Tom Wolfe

Marie Cosindas

Robin S.R. Starr
Vice President,
Director of American & European Works of Art
Skinner, Inc.