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Centers of Excellence

Magnum Photo Symposium

Project coordinator: Douglas BIOW

Total costs of the project: $86.180
Embassy of France support: $10.600

Summary of the Project

The Symposium To coincide with a major exhibition of the Ransom Center's (HRC's) newly acquired Magnum Photos Archive , the Department of Photography is planning a three-day Magnum symposium scheduled for October 25-27, organized by chief curator of photography Jessica McDonald. Twelve Magnum photographers from around the world, as well as International CEO Giorgio Psacharopulo, will participate in panel discussions, with a focus on the cooperative’s history and future. Invited speakers and panel moderators include Kristin Lubben, associate curator at the International Center of Photography and author of Magnum Contact Sheets (2011), Fred Ritchin, professor of photography and imaging at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and author of the essay “What is Magnum?” in the landmark volume In Our Time: The World as Seen by Magnum Photographers (1989), Anne Wilkes Tucker, Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and David Little, chief curator of photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and recent sponsor of commissioned projects by Magnum photographers Martin Parr and Alec Soth. With support from the French Embassy and the Center for European Studies at UT, as well as the Program of French Studies housed in the Department of French and Italian and the Department of American Studies, we hope to invite two internationally renowned photographers from France: Raymond Depardon (b. 1942) and Josef Koudelka (b. 1938). These photographers--the first born in France, the other a French naturalized citizen living in Paris--are in active, advanced stages of their careers and rarely appear in the United States. The participation of these longstanding members of Magnum would profoundly enhance the program and draw the attention and participation of a vast audience of scholars, students, curators, historians, and others interested in the history of photojournalism. Indeed, it is important to stress that by bringing to the HRC these two world-renowned French photographers, to this symposium at one of the crown jewel research libraries in the US, we will be able to bring French photography and its impact to a broad audience through the university's ongoing outreach activities and through CES's ongoing collaboration with major Centers and Programs at the University of Texas at Austin.