Harry Ransom Center earns award for photography book


Zen Ren

Harry Ransom Center senior research curator Roy Flukinger presents “The Gernsheim Collection,” a book compiling one of the largest collections of photography, in front of prints from its archives Tuesday morning. On behalf of the HRC, Flukinger will accept the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award, one of the highest honors in the field of museum studies.

Bobby Blanchard

A photography book chronicling a husband and wife as they developed one of the largest collections on the history of photography has gained national attention and an award for the Harry Ransom Center.

HRC senior research curator Roy Flukinger will accept the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award from the College Art Association in Los Angeles on Thursday, on behalf of the HRC for his contribution to “The Gernsheim Collection.”

Flukinger edited the book and the HRC co-published it with UT Press in fall 2010, coinciding with the HRC’s 2010 exhibition “Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection.”

Flukinger said he was looking forward to attending CAA’s 100th annual conference.

“Receiving the award on behalf of our institution is a tremendously important honor, but it is the spirit of education in this academic world that makes the CAA Conference so significant for us all,” Flukinger said.

UT press director David Hamrick said the award is one of the more distinguished and prestigious honors in the field of museum studies.

“This formal recognition, without question, raises UTP’s national profile and strengthens our reputation and cache as a publisher of photography books among scholars and artists,” Hamrick said.

Flukinger said the center developed a book on their photography collection because it is one of the finest collections for studying the history and significance of photography.

“The international reputation of the collection housed at the Ransom Center is outstanding,” Flukinger said. “But the story of its founders, its creation and its myriad holdings was not well known.”

Flukinger said he hopes the book will serve as an introduction to the Gernsheim chronicle and the couples’ collection.

“The Gernsheim collection itself, like all the holdings of the center, contains infinite possibilities for learning and enriching society and we hope that all these valuable aspects will contribute to the educational enterprise for present and future generations of students and scholars alike,” Flukinger said.

Flukinger said he is completing another book to be published through the HRC and UT Press about Arnold Newman, a 20th century photographer.

“Following that I have to complete all my work on our gallery-wide exhibition on the Magnum Photo Agency, which is scheduled to open here on Sept. 10, 2013,” Flukinger said. “I have no plans on stopping.”

Photojournalism sophomore Shaina Bowen said having a place like the HCR on campus which puts on galleries like this is important to her.

“It is so great to have something on campus that I can go to see photography,” Bowen said. “I’ve gone to go see the very first photograph and it is very inspiring.”

Printed on Thursday, February 23, 2012 as: Henry Ranson Center earns award for photography book