This year’s Conscientious Portfolio Competition features an expanded jury. Joining me to find the winner(s) are Elisabeth Biondi (New Yorker magazine) and Susanna Brown (Victoria and Albert Museum). I’m very grateful that both Elisabeth and Susanna agreed to do “jury duty” this year, and I would like to use the opportunity to introduce them in more detail below. (more)
The New Yorker
Elisabeth Biondi joined the staff of The New Yorker in 1996, shortly after photography was introduced to the magazine and as it began to play a more prominent editorial role. As Visuals Editor she has helped shape the look of the publication by establishing a group of staff photographers, commissioning both ‘Masters’ and emerging talent, and utilizing portrait, fine art, and documentary photography. She continues to build the magazine’s reputation for its use of photography, which is much acclaimed and has received numerous awards.
Born and educated in Germany, Ms. Biondi started working with photography when GEO Magazine, often described as a more contemporary and controversial version of National Geographic, made its appearance on the American market. Although the magazine won many awards for its photography and design, it ultimately ceased publication in 1984.
Subsequently, she moved to Vanity Fair, which soon began to grow into the highly successful magazine it is today. As Director of Photography, she focused on lively, witty portraiture - an important contribution to the increased success of the publication.
After seven years at Vanity Fair, Ms. Biondi returned to Germany to work for Stern, one of Germany’s largest news weeklies. As head of the Photography Department, she explored the fast-paced world of news and reportage photography, and worked with photographers around the world. After five years, she returned to New York, where she has since worked as Visuals Editor of The New Yorker.
Curator of Photographs
Victoria and Albert Museum
Susanna Brown is Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A is home to the UK’s national collection of the art of photography, a collection which began in 1852 and today includes over 500,000 images. Her expertise ranges from the history of photographic exhibitions to fashion, portraiture and international contemporary fine art practice.
As part of a team of four curators, Susanna is responsible for making new acquisitions, planning displays for the permanent collection galleries and curating touring exhibitions. Current projects include The Other Britain Revisited: Photographs from New Society (at the V&A until
September 2010), Selling Dreams, a touring exhibition on the history of fashion photography (opening Spring 2011), and an exhibition and publication celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II (2012-13).
In her previous role at London’s National Portrait Gallery she contributed to exhibitions including Angus McBean: Portraits (2006), The Beatles on the Balcony (2006) and Vanity Fair Portraits (2008).
Publications include numerous photographers’ biographies for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and frequent contributions to photographic journals and magazines such as Blueprint, Cent Magazine, Grafik, Distill, and The British Journal of Photography.