British photographic history

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Peter E. Palmquist memorial fund for photographic research / call open until 23 November 2020

Considered one of the most important photo historians of the 20th century, Peter E. Palmquist (1936-2003) had a keen interest in the photography of the American West, California, and Humboldt County before 1950, and the history of women in photography worldwide. He published over 60 books and 340 articles and was a strong proponent of the concept of the independent researcher-writer in the field of photohistory. With co-author Thomas Kailbourn, he won the Caroline Bancroft Western History Prize for their book, Pioneer Photographers of the Far West. Professor Martha Sandweiss, Princeton University, wrote, “He (Peter) established new ways of pursuing the history of photography, and with his collections and research notes soon to be accessible at Yale, he will be speaking to and inspiring new generations of students and researchers forever.” Established by Peter’s lifetime companion, Pam Mendelsohn, this fund supports the study of under-researched women photographers internationally, past and present, and under-researched Western American photographers before 1900.

A small panel of outside consultants with professional expertise in the field of photohistory and/or grant reviewing will review the applications in order to determine the awards. Applications will be judged on the quality of the proposal, the ability of the applicant to carry out the project within the proposed budget and timeline, and the significance of the project to the field of photographic history. Each recipient of the award will agree to donate upon completion of the project a copy of the resulting work (i.e., published book, unpublished report, thesis, etc.) to the Humboldt Area Foundation to submit to the Peter Palmquist Archive at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and a report to Humboldt Area Foundation at the end of the grant period. We ask that award recipients acknowledge the financial assistance provided by the Palmquist Memorial Fund in publications or other work products supported by that fund.

Past recipients and their projects are featured at


RANGE OF AWARDS: $500 - $2,000 


Individuals researching Western American photography before 1900 or women in photography as well as nonprofit institutions conducting research in these fields are eligible to apply.


Download the application at by clicking the “Application” link at the top right of the page or following this link.

Completed applications must be postmarked by: November 23, 2020 by 5:00 pm, and submitted to:

Humboldt Area Foundation • 363 Indianola Road, Bayside, CA 95524

Or via email:

Award Recipients will be notified by January 15, 2021

For more information contact:

Humboldt Area Foundation at (707) 442-2993


Sara Dronkers

Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Resources

Pronouns: she,her,hers

Humboldt Area Foundation

363 Indianola Rd. Bayside, CA 95524

707.442-2993 ext. 307


“Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity,

leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.”

Rebekah Burgess, PhD

NYC Parks

Photo Archivist

Capital Archives Manager

Olmsted Center

T: 718-760-6798

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