THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ART CRITICS/USA recently presented its 1999-2000 awards. The US section of the association invites its nearly 400 members to vote for best exhibitions and catalogues. This time the winners in the Best Photography Show category were for First Place: "Inverted Odysseys: Claude Cahun, Maya Deren and Cindy Sherman' (now there's an interesting group) at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University and Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami and curated by Lynn Gumpert, director, Grey Art Gallery, and Shelley Rice, independent curator; and for Second Place: "Vic Muniz" at Brent Sikkema and Ubu Gallery, New York City...TWO NEW GALLERIES have opened their doors. In New York City, Bruce Silverstein opened a gallery in Chelsea, at 504 West 22nd St between 10th and 11th. The gallery, located on the parlor floor of a townhouse building, will be of the few galleries in the area with a main focus on vintage photography. The Bruce Silverstein Gallery opens with an exhibition of vintage prints by noted photojournalist and artist Lucien Aigner on April 17th. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM, and Tuesdays by appointment only. In Belgium my good friend Anne Fourcroy has opened a gallery at 65a rue de la Régence, Brussels. The gallery will be open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm and then from 2 pm 6 pm; and on Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. Her first gallery show is "Duchenne de Boulogne", which is on exhibit until April 20th...A NEW WORLD RECORD of $220,000 (£146,750) was set at Christie's South Kensington's first Camera and Photographic Equipment auction of the year with the sale of the Phantom photographic unit, designed by British MP, Noel Pemberton Billing. This price topped the previous record of $83,000 (£55,750) set by Christie's in 1995...A NEW BOOK that is a must for your library if you collect Japanese photographs (or even if you don't, but admire them) is Portraits in Sepia by Torin Boyd and Naomi Izakura. This book ostensively is about the Japanese carte-de-visite, but what it really covers better than any other previous book is the entire photographic history as it relates to Japan. This 328-page bilingual (Japanese and English) publication is the most comprehensive listing of Japan's foreign and domestic photographers ever compiled. The extensive biographical notes (over 1150 photographers covered) include dates of operation, studio addresses, formats used, birth and death dates and much other important biographical information. There is also a great guide for dating Japanese carte-de-visites; and a good foldout chart for identifying 19th-century processes. In addition over 200 images are included from Torin and Naomi's collections. This is a MUST book for any photo historian, museum or collector. I cannot recommend it enough. The price is $75 and it is available from Carl Mautz Publishing at 530-478-1610. You can email Carl at email@example.com. He is the American distributor. As a special deal to our readers, he will send the book out postage free in the U.S., if ordered within the next 30 days, but you have to tell him about seeing it in the newsletter.