Hugh Edwards was an American curator of photography. Belonging to the likes of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and John Szarkowski, Edwards was one of the key figures to help the art world embrace fine art photography as well as documentary photography in the United States.
Edwards was also a photographer, however. He worked on a project to document a roller rink in the 1950's, which spanned for a decade. While he was no celebrated photographer, he was the man behind many successes of those whom he have helped.
In 1961, Edwards retired from photography and began to encourage emerging photographers -- Jan Saudek, Duane Michals, Algimantas Kezys, Danny Lyon, to name a few -- and was the first to offer solo shows of Robert Frank and Raymond Moore. Edwards shaped photography in Chicago, as he would always focus on monographic presentations, the juxtaposition of 'canonized' images by new practitioners.
Moreover, he as the first to champion 19th-century photography as he acquired the works of Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, William Henry Fox Talbot. and Alexander Gardner. He also showcased early 20th century photographers -- Ansel Adams, Lewis Hine, Walker Evans, W. Eugene Smith. American photography became a more established institution.
Gander at one of America's prolific photography figures in the upcoming display The Photographer's Curator: Hugh Edwards at the Art Institute of Chicago at the Art Institute of Chicago, May 24.
The show will run through October 29.
Images are from the press kit.