Center for Photography at Woodstock’s auction & gala

Ingrid Bergman at Stromboli, Italy, 1949 (Gordon Parks)

What the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) does – and has done for more than 35 years – is remarkable on a national level, and absolutely incredible for a local arts organization. Year in and year out, it mounts cutting-edge, world-renowned exhibitions that bring what’s happening in photography’s rise to the top of the art world to CPW’s intimate gallery space in Woodstock. It also brings the artists making photography matter so much to teach workshops and lecture on what it is that makes art matter and work for them. The organization supports young artists-in-residence at key moments in their careers, and sustains a fellowship award for key local talents, and, and…

It takes money to support such a large and widening mission to achieve so much, even beyond the various state, national and private grants and partnership funds that CPW’s enterprising and hardworking executive director Ariel Shanberg and Board of Directors bring in each year. That is why the 36th annual fundraising auction and gala, taking place at Saugerties’ Diamond Mills Hotel on Sunday afternoon, October 5, has long been one of the cultural highlights of the Hudson Valley.

People care about the Center for Photography. They care about the way that CPW cares about photography, and all those who cherish art – which is why its big events are so well-attended and, well, just so darned special.

This Sunday, the highly anticipated annual event will include a Vision Award honoring New York Times Magazine director of photography Kathy Ryan: a pioneer at combining fine art photography and photojournalism in the pages of the Magazine, who has worked with the publication for more than 25 years and is seen as one of the world’s top photo exhibit and book curators these days. The award will be presented to her by top photographer Gregory Crewdson. The awards will be followed by a tribute film to underwater photo legend Dennis O’Clair and his Media276 enterprise.

As for the 36th annual benefit auction of contemporary and classic photographs, the works up for bid range from pieces by such modern legends as Larry Clark, Larry Fink, Allen Ginsberg, David LaChapelle, Charles Lindsay and Mary Ellen Mark to classics like Margaret Bourke-White, Andre Kertesz, Martin Munkacsi, Gordon Parks, Alfred Stieglitz and Weegee. And with C. Hugh Hildesley of Sotheby’s serving as auctioneer, one had better be careful with one’s paddles!

The catalogue of works is currently up on the CPW website, and online and phone bidding will be available come Sunday.

Center for Photography at Woodstock’s 36th annual photo auction/Vision Awards Gala, Sunday, October 5, 12:30-4:30 p.m., Diamond Mills Hotel, 25 South Partition Street, Saugerties; (845) 679-9957,

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