The Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Portraiture is awarded annually to a photographer whose work demonstrates a compelling new vision in the genre of portraiture. Arnold Newman had an insatiable fascination with people and the physical world around him. In his work he explored the boundaries of portraiture and embodied the spirit of innovation in a form of art that dates back to the beginnings of the photographic medium. He was often heard to say “we make photographs with our hearts and with our minds.” It is with this principle that the Arnold Newman Prize is intended to assist a photographer to continue the pursuit of their work, and serve as a launching pad for the next phase of their career.
The Arnold Newman Prize was established by the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation in 2009 to recognize and reward excellence in new directions in photographic portraiture. The annual prize winner receives an award of $20,000 and is acknowledged in New York City with an exhibit and celebration. The winner’s work will also be exhibited at the PhoPa Gallery in Portland, Maine. The prize is funded by the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation and administered by Maine Media Workshops + College.
Press release for 2016:
MAINE MEDIA TO HOST VENERABLE ARNOLD NEWMAN PRIZE
Rockport, ME, July 25, 2016 — Maine Media Workshops + College has been selected as the permanent host of the notable Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Portraiture, widely considered the most prestigious portraiture photography prize in the world. The prize has been increased from $15,000 to $20,000, making it the second largest photo prize in the country.
“Increasing the amount of the prize combined with finding a great home for it at Maine Media elevates the prominence of the award to the level we believe it deserves,” said Arnold’s son, Eric Newman. “We are confident that this will attract new talent, global submissions, and honor to portraiture in a way that recognizes my father’s legacy.”
The increased prize and public recognition that will accompany it adds even more value to the chosen award recipient. Arnold Newman is frequently thought of as the father of modern portraiture, and he felt that a life in photography is “a glorious, exciting, soul-satisfying kind of marvelous way to live one’s life and to work and enjoy life.” Helping a photographer establish their career, or a new direction in their work, honors Newman’s philosophy of mentoring others.
As host, the Arnold Newman Prize will be represented on Maine Media’s website www.mainemedia.edu. The school will manage all submissions. A distinguished Advisory Council has been newly appointed to help select judges each year, and ensure the award and Arnold Newman’s legacy receives the recognition it deserves. Elizabeth Greenberg, Maine Media Workshops + College Vice President of Academic Affairs, who worked for many years as Arnold’s assistant, says she suspects that the Arnold Newman prize will only gain prominence with these developments. The prize will be announced each spring in New York City with an exhibit of the winner’s work, which will also be exhibited at Maine Media’s PhoPa Gallery in Portland, Maine.
The advisory committee for the prize includes Arnold Newman’s sons Eric Newman and David Newman as well as Howard Greenberg of the Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC; Stacey Baker, Associate Photo Editor, The New York Times Magazine; Julie Lowe, Director, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago; Joyce Tenneson, photographer; Gregory Heisler, photographer; Meg Weston, President, Maine Media College; Ashley Craig, Director of Photography Programs, Maine Media; and Elizabeth Greenberg, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Maine Media.
“I am honored to serve on this Advisory Committee,” says photographer Joyce Tenneson. “I have such wonderful memories of time with Arnold and Augusta together for many years at Maine Media and in New York City.”
The Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation established the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Portraiture in 2009 to recognize and reward excellence in photographic portraiture. It has been awarded to seven remarkable photographers since that time. It will continue to be awarded annually to a photographer whose work demonstrates a compelling new vision in the genre of portraiture, and is intended to assist a photographer to continue the pursuit of their work, and serve as a launching pad for the next phase of their career.
“We at Maine Media could not be more delighted to host this wonderful prize,” Greenberg said. “We will do our best to honor Arnold’s unique vision by administrating and sustaining this prize for future generations of photographers.”
Arnold Newman began his relationship with Maine in the late 1970’s, traveling from his home in New York City each summer teach at Maine Media. For over 30 years, Arnold taught and lectured at Maine Media (originally the Maine Photographic Workshops), providing inspiration and helping to hone the photographic craft for hundreds of photographers, many of whom have achieved significant status in the photographic arts.
“Our parents would have been thrilled that this prize is growing in such exciting ways,” said David Newman. “It is important to the foundation to help support emerging photographers in ways similar to how our father began his career in photography, and akin to the mentorship he provided to so many young photographers throughout his career.”