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Dan Budnik - Magnum Photographer - Platinum

Dan Budnik had an illustrious career with Magnum for over 25 years. His major portfolios were on famous personalities such as Georgia O'Keefe, Henry Cartier Bresson, and Martin Luther King. Photographed with an 8x10 camera in his home and printed in platinum.

 

As a photojournalist, Dan Budnik is known for his photographs of artists, but also for his photo-documentation of the Civil Rights Movement and of Native Americans. Born in 1933 in Long Island, New York, Budnik studied with Charles Alston at the Art Students League of New York (1951-53) and began his photography career as Philippe Halsman’s assistant. Working at Magnum Photos (1957-64) in 1963, Budnik persuaded Life Magazine to have him create a long-term photo essay showing the seriousness of the Civil Rights Movement, documenting the Selma to Montgomery march and other historical Civil Rights moments. Budnik went on to photograph for premier publications such as Life, Fortune, Look, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and Vogue. He has been a major contributor to eight Time-Life Wilderness and Great Cities series and received a 1973 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for his work on the Hudson River Ecology Project and a 1980 grant from the Polaroid Foundation for Big Mountain: Hopi-Navajo Forced Relocation.BiographyDan Budnik, (b. 1933), whose career as a photographer has spanned more than half a century, was most recent recipient, in 1998, of the prestigious American Society of Media Photographers Honor Roll Award, an accolade previously accorded to such eminent photographers as Man Ray, Edward Steichen, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, André Kertész, Ernst Hass, and Henri Cartier-Bresson.After studying with Charles Alston at the Art Students League of New York (1951-53), Budnik began his career as a Magnum photographer. His photo-essays have appeared in periodicals that include Art in America, LIFE Magazine, Fortune, The London Sunday Times, Magazine, Look, Modern Photography, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Réalités and Vogue. He has been a major contributor to many books, including six from the Time-Life Wilderness and Great Cities series. Budnik’s photographs appear in The Museum: An Informal Introduction to The Museum of Modern Art by Richard Schickel (1970). He is included in two seminal histories of photography: Nathan Lyons’ Photography in the Twentieth Century (1967) and The Picture History of Photography from the Earliest Beginnings to the Present Day, by Peter Pollack (1977).

Dan Budnik lives in Tucson, Arizona and is currently involved with creating a photographic record of ancient petroglyphs. Widely acclaimed for his photo-documentation of Native Americans (including his collaboration with Sandy Johnson, The Book of Elders: The Life Stories of Great American Indians, 1994), the Civil Rights Movement, and environmental issues. Budnik received a 1973 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for his work on the Hudson River Ecology project and a 1980 grant from the Polaroid Foundation for Big Mountain: Hopi-Navajo Forced Relocation.

The scope of Dan Budnik’s documentation of major 20th century artists has yet to be fully recognized. In addition to David Smith, he photographed Lee Bontecou, Alexander Calder, John Chamberlain, Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mark Rothko, and many others.

Dan Budnik’s photographs of David Smith first appeared as an April 5, 1963 photo essay for LIFE Magazine. They were first exhibited, in 1974, at the University Art Museum State University of New York, Albany, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, and Rice University, Houston, Texas. The same exhibition circulated nationally under the auspices of the American Federation of Arts, from 1975-78. They have been widely published, and have become an essential part of the extensive body of literature on Smith. Twenty-four of Budnik’s photographs of Smith are reproduced in the catalogue of the current exhibition at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, David Smith: A Centennial.

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Taken on May 4, 2008