2012 First Book Prize in Photography Countdown Highlights Past Winners: From 2004, Steven B. Smith’s “The Weather and a Place to Live”

From "The Weather and a Place to Live, Louisville, Colorado, 1999" Photograph by Steven B. Smith

Louisville, Colorado, 1999. Photograph by Steven B. Smith

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, co-published by the Center for Documentary Studies and Duke University Press.

In 2004, Maria Morris Hambourg, the founding curator of the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, selected Steven B. Smith as the second winner of this prestigious award. In compelling black-and-white photographs, The Weather and a Place to Live: Photographs of the Suburban West (2005) portrays the surreal intersection of suburbia and desert in California, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado, where sprawling suburbs are reconfiguring what was once vast unpopulated territory.

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, and an exhibit of his work will be on view at the Center for Documentary Studies.

To view photos from The Weather and a Place to LiveLegendary, and other First Book Prize in Photography winners, click here.

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