AWARD CEREMONY &
Since 1987, the Photographic Resource Center has had the privilege to organize and present the Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Awards. The awards acknowledge contemporary photographers working in color and are named in honor of Leopold Godowsky, Jr., the co-inventor of Kodachrome film, and a man whose contributions have had a major and lasting impact on the medium of photography. Over the course of 6 award cycles—with the first presented in 1988, and the most recent in 2005—the awards have bolstered the careers of some 28 individual artists representing over 18 countries on 7 continents. Besides the exhibition, the award includes an honorarium, an award ceremony, and a publication.
Traditionally rotating throughout different regions of the world, the theme of the 2005 Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Awards widened to a truly international scope. To further strengthen and expand upon this motif, the PRC aimed to honor outstanding artists with recent significant, but as yet unexplored, bodies of work in color photography. The PRC sought nominations from international directors, curators, critics, authors, and educators in the photographic and contemporary art communities. From these nominations, nearly 60 artists submitted work for a final jury. Jurors for the 2005 Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Awards were Karen Irvine, Curator, The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago) and Brian Wallis, Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator, International Center of Photography (New York), along with Leslie K. Brown, PRC Curator. The awards were granted based on the sole criterion of excellence, as represented by a portfolio of color images made within the previous two years—and created using any color process. By acknowledging such international photographic talent, the PRC hopes to bring to light issues important to individual photographers as well as the global community, and also introduce these photographers and their work to this region. Significantly, most of the works this year are being shown for the first time in the US.
The Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Awards often reflect current cultural issues and artworld trends, and this year’s exhibition is no exception. Although chosen for their independent excellence, a theme that emerges is “the politicized landscape.” Many of the artists reference prior photographic traditions and genres—from travel and tourist to landscape and documentary—and in the process raise questions about the function and truth of photography itself. Further reflecting the exciting evolution of photography since Godowsky’s and Leopold Mannes’s invention (and even since the establishment of these awards), the definitions of “color” as well as “photograph” have radically changed and the works in this exhibition reflect this shift. In the wake of the digital revolution, we can only guess the technological developments in color that are yet to come.
In addition to honoring the current recipients, it is one of the goals of this 2005 cycle to pay homage to the seminal histories of the Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Awards, Godowsky and Mannes, and Kodachrome films. Beyond the display of related ephemera, books, and historical information at the PRC, a new online component features further information on current and past awards. We invite you to visit and explore www.bu.edu/prc/godowsky.htm.
This year's exhibition was organized by Leslie K. Brown, PRC Curator, with Jennifer Uhrhane, Godowsky Curatorial Assistant. The PRC would like to acknowledge the generosity of Leopold Godowsky III, Alexi Gershwin, Georgia Keidan, Nadia Natali, Marc Gershwin, and the late Frances Gershwin Godowsky for the funding and support of this project. Great appreciation is extended to Jack and Enid Naylor and John O. Parker and Parker Capital Management, Inc. for their guidance. Thanks are due to Hotel Commonwealth, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Rennie Allinger (a Kodak retiree known to known to thousands as "Mr. Koda-chrome"), Gordon Brown, and Jon McCurdy for sharing materials and insight with us. Finally, we are grateful to the nominators, jurors, and artists for their participation and cooperation with this project.