Lucian Perkins photographic archive
Scope and Contents
The collection consists primarily of 35mm color and black and white negatives but also includes medium format transparencies and contact sheets. Subjects in this collection range from Russia to high fashion to wars and refugees in Bosnia, Sarajevo, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Palestine. Among the many subjects is coverage of the first Gulf War, a series focused on the Rosa Lee Cunningham family’s three generations of poverty in Washington D. C., and one on the refugee situation in Kosovo. Extremely wide-ranging and diverse, this collection also includes a biker rally, a Star Wars convention, Sioux Indians, and Midwestern tourists, as well as celebrities and noteworthy events. Documentation of Interfoto, the organization Perkins founded to promote the work of Russian photographers, and approximately 1.5 feet of Washington Post magazines and other publications containing Perkins’ work as well as clippings, catalogs, and promotional materials are also included.
- Creation: 1979 - 2001
- Perkins, Lucian (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is stored remotely; contact repository in advance for retrieval.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright restrictions may apply; contact repository for more information.
Two-time Pulitzer prize winner Lucian Perkins graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in biology. He later studied photography with Garry Winogrand and worked on the student newspaper, The Daily Texan. In 1979 he received an internship at The Washington Post, where he worked as a staff photographer for 27 years. He received the "Newspaper Photographer of the Year" award from the National Press Photographers Association in 1994 for a portfolio that included projects in Russia and a “behind-the-scenes” look at the New York fashion shows. In 1995 with Post reporter, Leon Dash, he won a Pulitzer Prize for their four-year study of the effects of poverty on three generations of a Washington, D. C. family through the eyes of the family's matriarch, Rosa Lee Cunningham. In 1996 he was awarded the World Press Photo of the Year for his photograph of a young boy in war- torn Chechnya. In 2000 Perkins won another Pulitzer Prize along with two colleagues at the Post for their coverage of the Kosovo conflict.
While at the Post, Perkins covered major international events, including Russia since 1988, the wars in the former Yugoslavia, the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has also chronicled local and national events throughout the United States, and worked closely with the online version of the newspaper to produce many of their first multimedia, interactive projects. In October 1998, Chronicle Books published his first book, Runway Madness, which accompanied a national touring exhibition.
Perkins also co-founded InterFoto, a non-profit that mounted an annual international photography conference in Moscow, Russia (1995-2005), and organized exchange programs, exhibitions, workshops and a “Russian Photography of the Year” contest. In 1996 and 1997 Perkins curated an exhibition of Russian photography “Russia: Chronicles of Change” that traveled to museums in the United States.
Currently, Perkins is an independent photographer and videographer concentrating on multimedia projects and video documentaries while still pursuing his love for the still image.
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Language of Materials
Two-time Pulitzer prize winner Lucian Perkins graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in biology. He later studied photography with Garry Winogrand and worked on the student newspaper, The Daily Texan. In 1979 he received an internship at The Washington Post, where he worked as a staff photographer for 27 years. The collection consists primarily of 35mm color and black and white negatives but also includes medium format transparencies and contact sheets
The collection is arranged by media and within that by subject. Contact sheets are filed with the negatives; their presence is indicated by an asterisk. The majority of the collection came in binders; the contents of most subject binders is arranged alphabetically within thematic areas (countries, sports, fashion); miscellaneous binders’ contents are listed in their original order. The “Fashion” binders cover seasons for the most part and the folders created for them are listed by designer; each year contains many of the same designers. Please note that the subject titled “Selects” contains the photographer’s personal choice of his best work.
<emph render="bold">Digital Versions</emph>
One-hundred and seventy-seven 35mm slides from the Perkins archive have been digitized and are available for viewing online in a Briscoe Center for American History database. Using the online finding aid, patrons may click the highlighted entries in the archive to view digitized images from that entry. To make an appointment to view other images from the archive, please contact the Photographs Archivist.
Processed by Linda Peterson, September 2009.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s
History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
- Perkins, Lucian (Person)
- Reagan, Ronald (Person)
- Bush, George, 1924-2018. (Person)
- Abzug, Bella S., 1920-1998 (Person)
- Kissinger, Henry, 1923-.... (Person)
- Clinton, Bill, 1946-.... (Person)
- Ali, Muhammad, 1942-2016 (Person)
- Big John (D. J.) (Person)
- Caldwell, Zoe (Person)
- Christie, Julie (Person)
- Christo, 1935-.... (Person)
- Cunningham, Rosa Lee, 1936- (Person)
- Davis, Gene, 1920-1985 (Person)
- DeLorean, John Z. (Person)
- Domingo, Plácido, 1941- (Person)
- Farrakhan, Louis (Person)
- Hart, Gary, 1936-.... (Person)
- Hope, Bob, 1903-2003. (Person)
- Kiser, Ben (Person)
- Lundgren, Dolph (Person)
- McCain, John, 1936-2018 (Person)
- Percy, Charles (Person)
- Principal, Victoria (Person)
- Rothenberger, Susan (Person)
- Springsteen, Bruce, 1949-.... (Person)
- Talbott, Strobe (Person)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Kosovo (Republic)
- Middle East
- Russia (Federation)--Chechni︠a︡
- United States
- Washington (D.C.)
- Lucian Perkins Photographic Archive, 1979-2001
- Ready To Publish
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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