Jessica Evett-Miller '00, M.F.A. '09, has received the second annual Margaret Bourke-White Photography Portfolio Prize. Evett-Miller's winning portfolio, "Strata," will be on exhibit in the Hartell Gallery Jan. 19-30, 2009. A private reception will be held in the gallery, where she will be presented with a check for $7,500.
More than 700 photos were submitted in 76 portfolios for the 2008-09 competition. Patricia Phillips, chair of the Department of Art in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, said there was "consensus and genuine enthusiasm for the quality and character" of the winning portfolio among the judges.
The contest is open to all regularly enrolled undergraduate and graduate Cornell students. The 2009-10 competition will be announced during the spring 2009 semester, and deadlines for submissions will be in November. Last year's winning portfolio was "Hollowed Out" by Lindsey Glover, M.F.A. '08.
The competition was established by an anonymous donor in 2007 and is named for renowned photographer Margaret Bourke-White '27 (1904-1971). Bourke-White first studied photography at Columbia University before graduating from Cornell. She helped define the field of photojournalism in the 1920s and '30s and is well known for her haunting images of the Great Depression. Bourke-White is associated with many "firsts," including first Western photographer allowed into the Soviet Union, first female war correspondent during WWII, and first female photographer for Fortune and Life magazines.
Evett-Miller was honored by the recognition and commented on the significance of receiving an award established in Bourke-White's memory.
"As a pioneer in advancing the position of women in the field of photography, Margaret Bourke-White helped pave the way for me to pursue work in this field as well," Evett-Miller said. "Her commitment to her work, her independence and sense of adventure, and her compassion for others continue to inspire young women photographers, myself included."
While photo portfolios are considered strictly on their merit for the Bourke-White prize, Evett-Miller is also part of a family legacy at Cornell. Her father, professor emeritus John C. Miller, M.Arch. '60, taught design and theory in the Department of Architecture from 1977 to 2003. Her mother, Elissa Evett '67, M.A. '76 and Ph.D. '80, taught art history from 1976-81; and grandfather, Kenneth W. Evett, taught painting in the Department of Fine Arts from 1948-78.