First Book Prize in Photography Countdown Highlights Previous Winners: From 2002, Larry Schwarm’s “On Fire”

"Fire (before and after), Lyon County, Kansas, 1992." Photograph by Larry Schwarm.

“Fire (before and after), Lyon County, Kansas, 1992.” Photograph by Larry Schwarm.

The CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is a biennial prize that offers publication of a book of photography, a $3,000 award, and inclusion in a website devoted to presenting the work of winners of the prize. Each year a significant and innovative artist, curator, or writer in photography is chosen to judge the prize and write an introduction to the winning book. In 2002, renowned photographer Robert Adams, the prize’s inaugural judge, selected Kansas-based photographer Larry Schwarm to win the first prize competition for his series of color images capturing the dramatic prairie fires that take place in his native state each spring. Schwarm’s On Fire, first published in 2003, is in its second printing. Books in this series are co-published by the Center for Documentary Studies and Duke University Press.

In 2012, Deborah Willis selected Gerard H. Gaskin to win the latest prize in this important series celebrating American photography. Gaskin’s book Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene will be published in fall 2013.

To view photos from On Fire, Legendary, and other First Book Prize in Photography winners, click here.

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