The Hasselblad Foundation named Carrie Mae Weems the winner of the 2023 Hasselblad Award on Wednesday, making her the first black woman to receive one of the most prestigious prizes conferred on a live photographer.
The annual award, named after Swedish camera inventor Victor Hasselblad, recognises “exceptional achievement” in photography and is endowed with SEK 2,000,000 (about $187,000). Past winners include Cindy Sherman, Wolfgang Tillmans, Walid Raad, Nan Goldin, and Graciela Iturbide. Dayanita Singh was the first artist of South Asian heritage to win the award the previous year.
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Weems stated in a statement; “In the midst of the radical shifts taking place across cultural institutions, and as the first African American woman to receive the Hasselblad Award, some might say, ‘it’s about time!’ Nevertheless, receiving the Hasselblad Award has left me speechless.
“To be recognized comes with the continued responsibility to deliver on the promise made to myself and to the field, which is to shine a light into the darker corners of our time and thereby, with a sense of grace and humility, illuminate a path forward,” she added.