W. Eugene Smith Fund Increases 2019 Smith Grant to $40,000 to Commemorate 40th Anniversary and Celebrate More Than $1 Million in Grants Since Its Founding

Board of Trustees Committed to Providing Photographers with Funding to Complete Important Works

New York, NY – February 26, 2019 – To commemorate its 40th anniversary, the W. Eugene Smith Fund announced it is increasing its 2019 Smith Grant to $40,000, a $5,000 increase from last year. The Fund’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the one-time increase as part of a year-long celebration of its milestone, which includes the presentation of more than $1 million to photographers since 1979. The Smith Fund was created in honor of legendary documentary photographer Eugene Smith, who died October 15, 1978.

Each year, The Smith Fund presents more than $50,000 in grants, fellowships, and special awards to photographers who use exemplary and compelling photojournalism to address an issue related to the human condition; social change; humanitarian concern; armed conflict; or cultural, social, environmental, and/or political significance.

“For 40 years, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has championed the causes of documentary photographers around the world and created a platform where their important work, in the name of humanistic photography, can be witnessed by millions worldwide,” said Phil Block, newly-elected president of the Fund’s Board of Trustees. “Thanks to our corporate donors, we remain committed to providing photographers with the financial support they need to complete their important projects.”

The Smith Fund is also accepting applications for several other grants, fellowships, and special awards this year including the 23rd annual Howard Chapnick Grant, which honors an individual for his or her leadership in any field ancillary to photojournalism; the 2nd annual Eugene Smith Student Grant, which is open to all collegiate-level students; and several fellowships and special awards presented to other applicants at the judge’s discretion.

Photographers and other industry professionals interested in submitting applications for these grants (or interested in learning more about the grants and fellowship), should visit SmithFund.org. The deadline for submitting applications to all grants, fellowships, and special awards is April 20, 2019.

Recipients will be announced during a special ceremony in New York City in October. Additional information about the awards ceremony will be announced shortly. Attendance will be free and open to the public.


The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is supported by generous contributions from The Incite Project, Herb Ritts Foundation, Canon USA, and The Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.  Additional support is provided by Aperture, Brilliant Graphics, Center for Creative Photography (CCP), the International Center of Photography, MediaStorm, Photo District News (PDN), School of Visual Arts MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department, School of Visual Arts MPS Digital Photography, and Synergy Communications.