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W. Eugene Smith Talk

Artist Talk: Jane Evelyn Atwood

Wednesday, March 2

6:30 pm

Aperture Gallery and Bookstore 547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor New York, NY


This event is free for students with ID and Aperture Members at the $50 level and above.

Aperture Foundation, in collaboration with the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, is pleased to present an artist talk with Jane Evelyn Atwood. Atwood was born in New York and has been living in France since 1971. She was the first recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Award in 1980 for her work on the blind. Atwood works primarily in the tradition of documentary photography, following individuals or groups of people—usually those on the fringes of society—for long periods of time. Fascinated by people and by the idea of exclusion, she has managed to penetrate worlds that most of us do not know, or choose to ignore.

The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography was established in 1978 following the death of W. Eugene Smith, the legendary American photo-essayist. Today, it is one of the most prestigious honors in documentary photography. Every year it recognizes a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion exhibited during his forty-five-year career. The application deadline is in early June. More information can be found at

Jane Evelyn Atwood (born in New York) is the author of ten books, most notably Too Much Time: Women in Prison (2000), a ten-year project that remains the definitive photographic reference on female incarceration to date. Atwood is the recipient of many prestigious international awards, including the first W. Eugene Smith Award, 1980; a World Press Foundation Prize, 1987; Grand Prix Paris Match du Photojournalisme and Grand Prix du Portfolio de la Société Civile des Auteurs Multimédia (SCAM), 1990; Ernst Haas Award, 1994; Leica Oskar Barnack Award, 1997; and Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, 1998. In 2005, she was given the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College. In 2012 she had her first retrospective at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, which also traveled to the Botanique, Brussels, 2013–14. In 2014, a large part of this retrospective was presented at Imagerie Lannion, France.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is sponsored by Aperture Foundation as well as Anastasia Photo, American Society of Media Photographers, Brilliant, Canon, Center for Creative Photography, International Center of Photography, MediaStorm, Photo District News, Swann Galleries, School of Visual Arts, and Synergy Communications.

The Smith Talks and other programs at Aperture are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Charina Endowment Fund, William Talbott Hillman Foundation, Inc., and the Board of Trustees and Members of Aperture Foundation.


Image: Jane Evelyn Atwood, Auto-portrait, New York, 1979

Artist Talk: Jane Evelyn Atwood