John Gutmann Photography Fellowship

The John Gutmann Photography Fellowship was established by the internationally recognized photographer, John Gutmann. An award of $5,000 to $10,000 is awarded annually to an emerging artist in the field of creative photography, who exhibits professional accomplishment and serious artistic commitment, along with financial need.




John Gutmann (1905-1998) was a Bay Area photographer of national repute and influence. Born in Breslau, Germany, Gutmann studied painting under the noted expressionist Otto Mueller. Because of his Jewish heritage, he was denied the opportunity to become an art professor by the Nazi-controlled government. After fleeing to San Francisco in 1933, he continued to develop his photography practice. He worked for German magazines capturing everyday scenes of American street art, The Great Depression, and the burgeoning automobile culture. Gutmann went on to influence generations of photographers as a professor at San Francisco State University from 1936-1973.

The Gutmann Photography Fellowship is determined by a nomination process. Nominees are selected by jurors who have been appointed by John Gutmann. Only applicants who are nominated will be considered.

There is no application for this award. Unsolicited materials are not accepted.

Nominated photographer must be a U.S. citizen.

The fellowship is limited to photographers, however, the definition as to what constitutes photography will be at the discretion of the jurors.

Students are not eligible. The award funds are to be used as the recipient(s) deem appropriate.


2016 AWARDEE: Nigel Poor

Nigel Poor lives and works in San Francisco, California. She received her MFA in Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art, MA. 1992 and a BA Photography/Literature from Bennington College, Vermont, in 1986. Since 2003, she has served as an Associate Professor of Photography at California State University, Sacramento. Her work has been exhibited by museums and galleries including the San Jose Museum of Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She is represented by Haines Gallery, San Francisco.


larsonshindelman-biopic_2016awardees2016 AWARDEES:
Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman

Larson Shindelman began collaborating in summer 2007, working over distance and through site-specific projects. Their solo exhibitions include Pictura Gallery in Indiana, the Orlando Museum of Art in Florida, Light House in Wolverhampton, Blue Sky in Portland, United Photo Industries in Brooklyn, and the Contemporary Arts Center Las Vegas. Nate Larson lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and is faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). He received his MFA from The Ohio State University in 2002. Marni Shindelman currently resides in Athens, Georgia, and is faculty in the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. She received her MFA from the University of Florida in 2002.

2016 JURY

Reagan Louie is Professor of Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he has taught in both the undergraduate and graduate programs since 1976. His photographs have been widely exhibited and collected by museums nationally and internationally. Louie’s books on China, Toward a Truer Life and Orientalia were both named the best photography book of the year by the New York Times Book Review and by American Photography  Magazine respectively. He is the recipient of numerous grants, including the Fulbright Fellowship and the Guggenheim Fellowship. Louie has been a nominator to the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship Award since 2008, this is his second year serving as a juror.

Richard Misrach, a native Californian, Misrach has spent most of his career photographing the American desert, and is considered one of this century’s most internationally acclaimed photographers. His photographs are in over fifty major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Art; and the Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris. He is the recipient of numerous award in the arts including four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work is represented by the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco. He has served on the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship Award jury panel since its inception in 2000.

Sandra S. Phillips is Emeritus Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Dr. Phillips met John Gutmann upon her arrival in San Francisco in 1987 and curated the retrospective exhibition, John Gutmann: Beyond the Document at SFMOMA in 1989. At SFMOMA she has been responsible for organizing numerous exhibitions, including the critically acclaimed, Diane Arbus. In addition to her curatorial duties she has authored or coauthored exhibition catalogues and journals; and teaches and lectures extensively. She has served on the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship Award jury panel since its inception in 2000.

Learn more about our previous awardees, and for more information about the Art Awards Program at The San Francisco Foundation, please contact us at 415.733.8500 or email us.