Issue #168  1/6/2010
Shpilman Art and Culture Foundation Endows Biennial Prize to Catalyze Groundbreaking Work in Photography

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem has established the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography, which will provide photographers and scholars with the support needed to pursue new ideas and work in the medium. The first of its kind, the prize is awarded for the creation of new work, rather than the recognition of previously completed work. It will be presented every two years to an artist or scholar who aims to expand the boundaries of the medium. Recipients will receive a cash prize of €30,000 ($45,000) to support the realization of new work, which will subsequently be published or exhibited by the Museum. The first Shpilman Prize recipient will be selected in August 2010.

The prize is created and supported with an endowment gift of $1 million from the Shpilman Art and Culture Foundation, which will expand the core activities of the Museum's Noel and Harriette Levine Department of Photography, while also contributing to the museum's ongoing endowment campaign in memory of founder Teddy Kollek. The Shpilman gift also matches a challenge grant from the Schusterman Foundation, which sought to encourage Israeli support by pledging $1 million toward the endowment campaign if matched by a donor in Israel. The Schusterman Foundation is also supporting the Museum's concurrent Campus Renewal Project with a gift of $5 million, also offered on condition that it be matched by donors in Israel.

Recipients of the prize will be selected by a jury of leading international photography experts, chaired by Nissan N. Perez, Horace and Grace Goldsmith senior curator of the Israel Museum's Noel and Harriette Levine Department of Photography. Inaugural jury members will include: Dr. Shlomo Lee Abrahmov, photographer and teacher, Holon Institute of Technology and Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, representing the Shpilman family; Peter Galassi, chief curator, department of photography, the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Marta Gili, director, Jeu de Paume Museum, Paris; Prof. Hanan Laskin founder, photography department, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Tel Aviv, and academic advisor to art schools and other cultural institutions in Israel.

Prospective candidates may include artists and scholars in photography with an established record of past achievements who intend to create new work or undertake new research in the field. Proposals must include a statement on the nature of the work that applicants would want to develop in the future. Candidates must be nominated by a peer in the field. Applications must be received by April 2010.

Inquiries concerning the Shpilman Prize can be addressed to shpilmanprize@imj.org.il .