Slideshow: Photography Hall of Fame awards four women 2023 honors

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IPHF recognizes four trailblazing women

Today, three remarkable women – Nan Goldin, Bea Nettles, and Vivan Maier – will be inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame (IPHF), along with Matika Wilbur as the recipient of the Visionary Award. These honors have been granted on an annual basis, for 55 years, to those “who demonstrate the artistry, passion and evolution of the past and present art and science of photography.” A live stream of the ceremony is set to take place at 6:00 pm CT.

The Professional Photographers of America’s primary objective, when establishing the Photographic Art and Science Foundation, was to promote the history of art and industry. In 1965, the Foundation’s mission extended to include a permanent commitment to acknowledging historical photographers and inventors. This initiative eventually led to the creation of the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum in 1977.

Full information on each recipient, plus comprehensive galleries of work, can be found on the IPHF’s official site. The IPHF hosts annual photography competitions, exhibits, lectures, and workshops for those looking to improve their craft and gain exposure. The IPHF and Museum’s permanent collection contains over 10,000 images from more than 500 artists.

Nan Goldin

About the artist: Nancy Goldin is an American photographer and activist known for exploring various themes including LGBT subcultures, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the opioid epidemic. Her most renowned body of work is “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” (1986), a monograph that captures the post-Stonewall gay subculture and features her family and friends. In addition to her photography, she is a founding member of the advocacy group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now). Goldin is based in New York City.

Nan Goldin

From the IPHF: “One of the most important and influential artists of her generation, Goldin has revolutionized the art of photography through her frank and deeply personal portraiture. Over the last 45 years, Goldin has created some of the most indelible images of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since the 1970s her work has explored notions of gender and definitions of normality. By documenting her life and the lives of the friends who surround her, Goldin gives a voice and visibility to her communities. In the 1980s these images of her ‘extended family’ became the subject of her seminal slide show and first book The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.”

Vivian Maier

About the artist: Piecing together Vivian Maier’s life may easily bring to mind Churchill’s famous quote about the vast land of Tsars and commissars to the east. Vivian was a person who embodied stereotypical European sensibilities of an independent, liberated woman with a distinct accent, even though she was born in New York City. She was intensely private and guarded, but she was never hesitant to passionately share her own liberal worldview with anyone who would listen – and sometimes with those who wouldn’t. Despite her decidedly unmaterialistic nature, Vivian accumulated a collection of storage lockers brimming with various items including art books, newspaper clippings, home films, political trinkets, and knick-knacks.

Vivian Maier

From the IPHF: “The story of this nanny who has now wowed the world with her photography, and who incidentally recorded some of the most interesting marvels and peculiarities of Urban America in the second half of the twentieth century is seemingly beyond belief.

An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Vivian bounced between Europe and the United States before coming back to New York City in 1951. Having picked up photography just two years earlier, she would comb the streets of the Big Apple refining her artistic craft. By 1956 Vivian left the East Coast for Chicago, where she’d spend most of the rest of her life working as a caregiver.

In her leisure, Vivian would shoot photos that she zealously hid from the eyes of others. Taking snapshots into the late 1990s, Maier would leave behind a body of work comprising over 100,000 negatives. Additionally, Vivian’s passion for documenting extended to a series of homemade documentary films and audio recordings.”

Bea Nettles

About the artist: Bea Nettles creates carefully constructed images using various alternative photographic techniques. Her work is a fusion of craftsmanship and photography, incorporating a diverse array of tools and materials such as fabric and stitching, instamatic cameras, book formatting, hand-applied color, and manually-coated photographic emulsions.

Within her imagery, she invokes metaphors that relate to significant phases in women’s lives, frequently reflecting autobiographical elements. Her primary themes draw inspiration from mythology, family, motherhood, location, landscapes, dreams, the aging process, and the relentless passage of time.

Bea Nettles

From the IPHF: “The exhibition career of Bea Nettles began when her work was shown in ‘Photography Into Sculpture,’ at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, 1970. Her images have been featured in exhibitions worldwide and regularly reviewed online and in print media; The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Art in America, Art Week, Art News, and several photography magazines in the USA, Italy, Portugal, Australia, England and France.”

Matika Wilbur

About the artist: Matika Wilbur, from the Swinomish and Tulalip communities along the coastal regions of Washington, is a social documentarian and photographer. Her fourth major creative undertaking, known as Project 562, is a crowdfunded initiative aimed at personally visiting, engaging with, and photographing individuals from more than 562 sovereign Tribal Nations across North America. This project serves as a platform to uplift and celebrate Native American identity and culture.

She co-hosts the All My Relations podcast with Dr. Adrienne Keene. It provides a platform for guests to delve into topics that address the challenges confronting Native peoples in the present and to explore the interconnected relationships between land, non-human relatives, and individuals. Wilbur has also delivered more than 300 keynote speeches at prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Google, TED Talks, and the National Education Association. Additionally, she holds the title of National Geographic Explorer.

Matika Wilbur

From the IPHF: “Matika began her career in fashion and commercial work in Los Angeles after completing the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography. Though in high demand professionally, Matika realized that she wanted a different path as a photographer: to create portrait art that deeply communicated people’s lives and experiences. She was especially drawn to remarkable personalities from the nation’s indigenous communities, who typically in massive media and the popular consciousness have been grossly neglected or stereotyped.

Matika chose to devote herself to photography as a creator and messenger, soon producing multiple acclaimed exhibitions in leading museums and other venues of her striking portraits of Pacific Northwest and other Native peoples.”