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MAMA offers $50,000 photo prize

Kids in Gallery_Michael Cook, Mother series (Detail), MAMA Collection, 2019. Photo Jeremy Weihrauch
Murray Art Museum Albury

MAMA will have one of Australia's richest contemporary photography awards when the MAMA Art Foundation offers a $50,000 prize pool next year.

The biennial MAMA Art Foundation National Photography Prize is accepting entries now and will culminate in an exhibition at MAMA from 20 May to 7 August next year, showcasing the best in contemporary Australian photography.

The prize pool has more than doubled in value, up from $20,000 in 2014 to $50,000 - making it one of the country's richest contemporary photography awards.

The award comprises the MAMA Art Foundation National Photography Prize of up to $47,000 and the $3,000 John and Margaret Baker Memorial Fellowship, which has been offered since 2000 to provide encouragement and financial assistance to an emerging photographer chosen from the National Photography Prize exhibition.

MAMA Art Foundation Chair Tony Smith the foundation was "delighted to support this major increase in the photographic prize to coincide with the first year of Albury's wonderful new regional gallery, MAMA".

 "We believe this will generate great interest and the highest quality submissions from contemporary Australian photographers, ensuring both a stimulating exhibition and significant additions to MAMA's already nationally important photographic collection,"

Tony Smith, MAMA Art Foundation Chair

Established in 1983, the award is also Australia's longest-running acquisitive photographic prize, laying the foundations for an extensive permanent collection that today numbers more than 600 works.

Early MAMA acquisitions included such artists as Max Dupain, Mark Strizic, Richard Woldendorp and Philip Quirk. Subsequent years have seen hundreds of works by artists such as Rosemary Laing, Tracey Moffatt, Patricia Piccinini and Bill Henson added to the collection as a result of the prize, bequests, donations and acquisitions.

MAMA, Australia's newest contemporary art museum, opened to the public earlier this month, providing for the first time extensive and sophisticated gallery spaces able to showcase its extensive permanent collection of photography, art and sculpture as well as accommodate major touring exhibitions.

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