CSU, Chico News

Professor Receives Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for Photography Work

Date: 04-17-2009

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico Professor Byron Wolfe of the Department of Communication Design has received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for 2009.

The New York-based John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the 2009 Guggenheim Fellows via a news conference and full-page New York Times advertisement last week.

The 180 artists, scientists and scholars from the United States and Canada receiving the fellowship were selected from among more than 3,000 applicants. Sixty-two disciplines and 68 academic institutions are represented among the recipients. Wolfe is the only professor from a California State University campus to receive a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Wolfe’s fellowship will fund his project to research and rephotograph historic images made in Central America in 1875–1876 to better understand landscape change and environmental impacts in the region.

Wolfe was also named a recipient of the 2009 David W. and Helen E.F. Lantis University Professorship at CSU, Chico. The Lantis Professorship is also supporting Wolfe’s rephotography work in Central America.

In releasing the news of the 2009 Guggenheim Fellows, the Foundation said the recipients were appointed “on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment.”

Wolfe said he is not aware of another CSU, Chico professor to have received a Guggenheim Fellowship while working at the University. Legendary professor and artist Janet Turner, who established the Janet Turner Print Museum at CSU, Chico in 1981, was a 1952 Guggenheim Fellow seven years before coming to Chico.

Since 1925, more than $273 million has been granted to Guggenheim Fellows, who have included Ansel Adams, W.H. Auden, Aaron Copland, Langston Hughes, Vladimir Nabokov and Philip Roth.

Wolfe, who came to CSU, Chico in 1999, is the author of Everyday: A Yearlong Photo Diary (2007), and co-author of Yosemite in Time: Ice Ages, Tree Clocks, Ghost Rivers (2005) and Third Views, Second Sights: A Rephotographic Survey of the American West (2004). His photography is in a number of permanent collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. In 2004 he received the Santa Fe Prize for Photography. He did his undergraduate work at the Johnston Center at the University of Redlands and earned an MFA from Arizona State University in 1998.