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Anthony Bannon Honored by Royal Photographic Society

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State is pleased to announce the Center’s executive director Dr. Anthony Bannon was honored by Britain’s Royal Photographic Society at the 2012 Royal Photographic Society International Awards in London, England. Bannon was awarded the J. Dudley Johnston Award for major achievement in the field of photographic criticism and the history of photography.

The Royal Photographic Society International Awards have been offered since 1878 to individuals who have made significant contributions to the art and science of photography. The Society was founded in 1853 “to promote the Art and Science of photography” and was granted the use of the title ‘Royal’ in 1894 and its Royal Charter in 2004. It has adopted a wide definition of photography which refers to the art or science of the recording of light or other radiation on any medium on which an image is produced or from which any image may by any means be produced.

“The J. Dudley Johnston Award is presented for either sustained excellence or a single outstanding publication in the fields of photographic criticism or the history of photography,” said Philippe Garner, head of the international division for photography at Christie’s in London. “A great museum’s mission, of course, is no longer that of being a simple reliquary. As well as opening itself to scholarly research, it must look to the future as much as the past." Such policies were evident for the entirety of Bannon’s career.

Award nominations were considered by a committee headed by the immediate Past President, Rosemary Wilman Hon FRPS and recommendations were put to The Society's Council for confirmation. Honorees for 2012 included scientist Steven J. Sasson and photographers Joel Meyerowitz, Sally Mann, Rineka Dijkstra, Rinko Kawuchi and Marcus Bleasdale as well as Kathy Ryan, photo editor and Stephen Perloff, editor of The Photograph Collector. A complete list of awards is available at

Anthony Bannon re-joined the Burchfield Penney in May 2012 after 16 years as director of George Eastman House International Museum of Film and Photography in Rochester, New York. He served as the Burchfield Penney’s second director from 1985-1996.

Bannon earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, his master of arts from the University at Buffalo’s English Department with a concentration in media study, and his Ph.D. in English with a focus on cultural studies, also from the University at Buffalo. He began his career as a filmmaker and a journalist, serving as the arts editor and critic for the Buffalo Evening News and the Buffalo News from 1969 to 1985.