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Halstead, Kennerly Named Among the 100 Most Important People in Photography

Dirck Halstead portrait David Kennerly portrait with Camera

A list of the 100 most important people in photography has just been released by the editors of American Photo in the May/June issue. Dirck Halstead and David Hume Kennerly are identified as among those who are shaping the art and business of photography in 2005. David Schonauer, the magazine’s editor in chief, writes in his introduction to the feature that with digital technology redefining the entire medium, he felt it was important to assess where photography is heading and who is taking it there. In addition to photographers, the list includes businesses, editors, dealers, agencies, curators, collectors, and publishers.

Both have placed their extensive photographic archives at the Center for American History. Their work can be seen at:

Photojournalism and the American Presidency

David Hume Kennerly Photographic Archive, 1966-

Dirck Halstead Photographic Archive

Following are the nominations for Halstead and Kennerly:

Jay M. Smolsen for American Photo, on Dirck Halstead:

"Yet another editor ranks high on our list, but this one doesn’t usually see ink put to paper. During his long career as a photojournalist, Halstead, 68, covered the Vietnam War and the White House under several presidents, the last being Clinton, whom he photographed one day at a rally hugging a dark-haired intern in a red beret. After leaving that beat and his longtime employer, Time magazine, in 1997, he launched The Digital Journalist Website to showcase the work of photographers and to illuminate the medium’s history and potential. His experiment has since turned into one of photography’s greatest resources--an archive of portfolios, interviews, and industry news. An average monthly issue of the D.J. gets some 1.5 million viewers. The special issue that Halstead put out after 9/11, featuring videotaped interviews with the photographers who covered the story, got over 30 million hits. Halstead also launched an innovative series of what he calls "Platypus" workshops to train still photojournalists in the techniques of documentary filmmaking with digital video camcorders. Now a senior fellow in photojournalism at the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, Halstead continues to inspire a new generation of photographers."

J.E. for American Photo, on David Hume Kennerly:
"Kennerly is one of Washington D.C.’s savviest journalists, adept at gaining access to high officials and big stories by being the outsiders’ insider. A 1972 Pulitzer Prize winner for his reportage in Vietnam, he went on to become White House photographer for President Gerald Ford and later worked as a contract photographer for Time. He has been a contributing correspondent to TV’s Good Morning America and has published books about his experiences in Vietnam (Shooter, 1979); the last days of the Seinfeld TV show (Sein Off, 1998); as well as his recent Photo du Jour: A Picture-a-Day Journey through the First Year of the New Millenium (2002). As contributing editor to Newsweek, he has landed exclusives with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others. His next project: a book called Balance of Power: The Three Branches of Government and the Fourth Estate."