The Howard Chapnick Legacy

“The Howard Chapnick Legacy” was a special program in the “Smith Talks”, an ongoing collaboration between Aperture and W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. The event took place on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 at Aperture.

Howard Chapnick (1922-1996) is a legend of photography, the long time head of the Black Star Agency and author of the classic “The Truth Needs No Ally: Inside Photojournalism”.

In 1979 with colleagues, John Morris and Jim Hughes, Chapnick founded the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, which awards grants for projects in humanistic photography. Shortly after his death in 1996, the Smith Fund announced a new and additional fellowship in Chapnick’s name, a $5.000 grant to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism.

The evening celebrated his career and the grant’s recipients. Chapnick was a seminal influence on a roster of today’s leading photo-journalists like Pete Turnley, Donna Ferrato, Tony Suau, Chris Morris, Joseph Rodriquez, James Balog, and James Nachtwey to name a few, all of whom were invited to contribute to the evening’s proceedings.

The evening was hosted by Mickael Itkoff of Daylight Publishing. who received the Chapnick grant in 2006 which made it possible for Daylight to go to press. The Chapnick grant has been able to give smaller organizations an immediate boost like this. Other past Chapnick grantees Marie Arago, Ryan Libre, Liza Faktor, and Richard Steven Street talked about their projects and grant. There are also video commentaries from co-founders and Smith Board Members John Morris and Rich Clarkson and in person remarks from Trustees Aaron Schindler and Phil Block.

For more information about the Howard Chapnick Fund, go to