Photography Masterworks Benefit Auction

Jill Rahn's picture
In the 1940s, Josephine Herrick was a budding photographer with a novel idea: put cameras in the hands of wounded WWII servicemen and guide them through the rehabilitative power of photography. On November 4 the Josephine Herrick Project, the organization that bears her name and fulfills her inspiration with today’s veterans, autistic children and others, will auction more than 40 dazzling images from celebrated modern photographers as a fundraiser. The 2013 Modern Masters in Photography Benefit Auction will take place at the Aperture Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, New York City. Tickets are $150 per person, available at http://jhproject.org/benefit/.

© Elizabeth Opalenicj

The benefit consists of a silent auction of artwork, portrait sittings, gallery tours and camera equipment and a live auction conducted by a Christie’s auctioneer. Attendees will have a chance to acquire a signed print from modern masters, including Amy Arbus, Ralph Gibson, Mike Yamahsita, Phil Borges, Art Wolfe, Pulitzer Prize winner Jay Dickman, Douglas Kirkland, former White House photojournalist Barbara Kinney, longtime United Nations photographer John Isaac and Ron Haviv, author of Blood & Honey: A Balkan War Journal. Also included are images from the Man Ray Trust.

These artists join a heritage of illustrious photographers who, through donations of their work, have supported the organization’s mission to enhance lives through photography. Thirty-five years ago at its last auction, attendees bid on images by Ansel Adams, Margaret Bourke-White, Edward Steichen, Irving Penn and others. The event this year likewise may feature potential investment pieces by contemporary photographers.

The Josephine Herrick Project creates programs, exhibitions and publications and currently provides equipment, curriculum and volunteer photography teachers to more than 20 programs in New York City. It partners with several agencies and hospitals, including the Brooklyn VA, Block Institute, Gallop/NYC, Creedmoor Psychiatric Center and Beacon University Settlement.

The organization was formerly known as Rehabilitation Through Photography, but a name change in June was made to honor its founder. "The benefit auction, revived after a long hiatus, is another way to share Josephine Herrick's long-lasting influence with the American public," said Maureen McNeil, who joined as director in September 2012. “We will be celebrating evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and sensational photography. We look forward to sharing this moment with our supporters, programs, photographers and friends.” she added.

Herrick earned much acclaim from the New York photography and medical communities in her lifetime. She worked closely with Dr. Howard Rusk, considered the father of rehabilitative medicine, whoinvited her to develop therapeutic photography programs for patients at theRusk Institute.

Herrick began using a camera for charitable causes in 1941. She enlisted friends to take pictures of servicemen departing to war. Her team of volunteers then sent each serviceman’s photo to his family along with a personalized note. After the war, her organization took shape, teaching camera skills and self-expression to wounded veterans to help heal the emotional scars of war. Eventually, the group began receiving requests to develop programs for schools, hospitals, senior centers and social service agencies.

About The Josephine Herrick Project
The Josephine Herrick Project is a New York City-based nonprofit, founded in 1941, that enlists photographic community volunteers and the industry to provide equipment and photography skills to underserved populations. JHProject’s free programs inspire children, teens, veterans, adults and seniors with the visual language of photography, whichenables them to engage with others and in their communities through their artistic vision.

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