MacDowell will honor Nan Goldin

Union Leader Correspondent
June 09. 2012 11:28PM

PETERBOROUGH - The MacDowell Colony plans to present its 53rd Edward MacDowell Medal to renowned photographer Nan Goldin on Sunday, Aug. 12.

Goldin is known for her provocative and frank autobiographical photos that often portray intensely personal moments and scenes from her life and those of her friends and family.

'This is one of the greatest honors I've received in my life,' Goldin said in a statement. 'To be named among the artists who have made the most profound marks of the past five decades is humbling.'

Since 1960, the MacDowell Medal has been awarded annually to an individual artist who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her field.

The award is rotated among the artistic disciplines practiced at MacDowell, one of the nation's leading artist residency programs, which is located on 450 acres of woods in Peterborough.

Past recipients include Robert Frank, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keefe, Leonard Bernstein, Merce Cunningham, Robert Frost and Edward Albee.

Author Michael Chabon, a MacDowell fellow and chairman of the Colony board of directors, as well as writer and critic Luc Sante, will speak at the public ceremony to honor Goldin.

Sante was chairman of this year's medalist selection committee.

'Nan Goldin's photographs of her life, her friends and her family - unflinchingly honest, nakedly emotional, sometimes brutal, but most often tender - redefined the autobiographical use of photography and influenced everyone who has come after her. In addition, her use of the slideshow as a medium just about constituted a medium unto itself, halfway between still photography and cinema. Along the way, her approach to love, gender and sexuality has forever altered the depiction of woman and gay and transgender people,' Sante said in a statement.

The Medal Day ceremony is set to begin at 12:15 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Colony on High Street.

Medal Day is the one day of the year the colony is open to the public.

Attendees can bring their own lunch to stay after the ceremony and enjoy a picnic on the grounds.

Picnic lunch baskets sold at the event can be pre-ordered at

Between 2 and 5 p.m. the public is welcome to walk the grounds for an open studio tour in which they can meet the current artists in residence and view their work.

The 105-year-old artist colony welcomes more than 250 composers, writers, visual artists, theater artists, architects, filmmakers and interdisciplinary artists each year.

There is no charge to attend Medal Day.

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Meghan Pierce may be reached at


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