Hand & Eye: Fifteen Years of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize

Juanita Kerps and Lyndhurst Galleries
September 19, 2005-January 8, 2006

Opening Reception
Thursday, October 6, 6-9 p.m.
Featuring a presentation at 7 p.m. by photographer Peter Brown, recipient of the 2005 Lange-Taylor Pruze with writer Kent Haruf

Hand & Eye: Fifteen Years of the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize features photographs and writing from ten past prizewinning projects, showing a broad range of documentary work from the United States and a number of places around the world. Projects range in focus from Salvadoran street gangs to Italy’s new immigrants, from America’s toughest boxing gyms to highway construction in remote Appalachia, from mountain Jews in Azerbaijan to post-Soviet transition in Cuba.

First awarded in 1991, the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize was created by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University to encourage collaboration between documentary writers and photographers in the tradition of the acclaimed photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor. In 1941 Lange and Taylor published An American Exodus, a book that renders human experience eloquently in text and images and remains a seminal work in documentary studies. The Lange–Taylor Prize honors their important collaborative work.

Featured guest at the October 6 public opening for Hand & Eye will be photographer Peter Brown, who won the 2005 Lange-Taylor Prize with writer Kent Haruf, who is unable to attend the opening event. Brown’s presentation will begin at 7 p.m. The reception begins at 6 p.m. Brown and Haruf won this year’s prize for their project “High Plains,” a new description of America’s central High Plains—the Sand Hills of Nebraska, south to southern Colorado. Brown’s photographs and Haruf’s writing will record “moments that describe the beauty, power, tragedy, and cultural complexity of the place itself: the way the land has been used, the way that people have lived on it, and the visual record that has been left behind.”

Brown was named Photographer/Educator of the Year by the Houston Center of Photography in 2004. He has also received an Alfred Eisenstadt Award, an Imogene Cunningham Award, a Carnegie Fellowship, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s work is held in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Menil Collection, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, among other institutions. His monograph, On the Plains, was published by Norton/Center for Documentary Studies (1999).

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The exhibition Hand & Eye includes the work of the following Lange–Taylor Prize winners (in alphabetical order by photographer). Click prizewinners' names to view photographs and texts from each project:

Rob Amberg - Sam Gray (1998). “I-26: Corridor of Change” – The physical, economic, and social changes accompanying highway construction in remote Appalachia.

Ernesto Bazan - Silvana Paternostro (1997). “El Periodo Especial” – Life in Cuba since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Mary Berridge - River Huston (1996). “Women” – Visual and verbal portraits of HIV-positive women and their families.

Donna DeCesare - Luis Rodriguez (1993). “Mara Salvatrucha” – An exploration of the lives of the young men and women in Salvadoran street gangs.

Jason Eskenazi - Jennifer Gould Keil (1999). “Mountain Jews: A Lost Tribe” – The transition of a centuries-old village in the Caucasus from its traditional way of life. 

Paola Ferrario - Mary Capello (2001). “Pane Amaro/Bitter Bread: Italy’s New Immigrants” – Diptychs and prose inventions about the difficulties of dislocation and finding a new home.

Misty Keasler - Charles D'Ambrosio (2003). “Guatemala City Dump: Life at the Rim” – An in-depth look at the makeshift village at the edge of Guatemala City dump. View video excerpts of an interview with Misty Keasler.

Jim Lommasson - Katherine Dunn (2004). “Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice, and the Will to Survive in America’s Toughest Boxing Gyms” – The power of boxing to transform lives and communities.

Deborah Luster - C.D. Wright (2000). “One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana” – Photographic portraits of prisoners with poems influenced by their life stories.

Dona Ann McAdams - Brad Kessler (2002). “The Garden of Eden: Living with Schizophrenia on Coney Island” – A window into the extraordinary world of people living with severe mental illness. 

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Alexa Dilworth, awards director at CDS, talks with Peter Brown about winning the prize, doing documentary work, and what it means to collaborate with another artist on a project like this one.

Photographer Peter Brown, winner of the 2005 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize with writer Kent Haruf. Photograph by Christopher Sims.

Photographer Peter Brown, with writer Kent Haruf, won the 2005 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize for the project High Plains. At the Center for Documentary Studies' opening reception for Hand & Eye: Fifteen Years of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize, on October 6, 2005, Brown showed his photographs and read selections from Haruf's writing from their work-in-progress. Alexa Dilworth, awards director at CDS, talked with Peter Brown about winning the prize, doing documentary work, and what it means to collaborate with another artist on a project like this one.
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