Pictures of the Year International to celebrate milestone at Newseum; POYI director Shaw to retire

David Rees
David Rees
Rick Shaw
Rick Shaw

“Pictures of the Year: 75 Years of the World’s Best Photography,” an exclusive groundbreaking photography exhibit featuring seven decades of award-winning images from the archives of Pictures of the Year International, will be unveiled Friday, April 6, 2018, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

The images depict the people and events that have defined our times, capturing war and peace, disaster and triumph, and the social and cultural shifts that have shaped the past 75 years. Selected from POYI’s archive of more than 40,000 photos, the pictures trace the evolution of photojournalism from World War II to today.

This will be the third collaboration between the Newseum and Pictures of the Year International since the Newseum opened on Pennsylvania Avenue in 2008. “Pictures of the Year: 75 Years of the World’s Best Photography” will include a public program to open the exhibit, a daylong lineup of programs and activities for Photo Day, and panel discussions with award-winning photographers throughout the run of the exhibit.

David Rees, University of Missouri School of Journalism professor and director of the Angus and Betty McDougall Center for Photojournalism Studies, will coordinate POYI’s participation in the exhibit and accompanying programs. He will also succeed Rick Shaw as director of the POYI annual competition.

Shaw, POYI director for the past 11 years, will retire in August. In addition to running the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism competition in the world, Shaw managed the vast POYI archive and worldwide exhibitions. During his POYI tenure he built partnerships with the Newseum, Louisiana State Museum, Annenberg Space for Photography and the LOOK3 Festival of Photography.

“I am always inspired when guests tour our exhibitions,” says Shaw. “There is an immediate impact that heart-wrenching photographs have on people and I can see, in that moment, that their understanding of humankind just hit a higher plateau.”

Shaw came to the Missouri School of Journalism in 2004 as assistant professor for visual editing and management. He also served as director of photography for the Columbia Missourian, the daily community newspaper and website that functions as a real-life Missouri Method newsroom for journalism students. Prior to that he held photo and editing leadership positions at the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Arizona Republic, Sacramento (Calif.) Bee and Florida Times-Union. He will retire from the University of Missouri in August.

“Rick has been a terrific director for 11 years, a devoted and enthusiastic steward for the contest and photojournalism,” says Randy Picht, executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, home to the POYI program and archives. Both institutions conduct joint programs for citizens and journalists that improve the practice and understanding of journalism.

Shaw, along with Assistant Professor Bill Allen (retired), also developed the School’s Drone Journalism program into one of the best of its kind.

Rees, photojournalism faculty chair and Shaw’s immediate predecessor at POYI, will once again oversee the annual contest.

Rees joined the photojournalism faculty in 1986. In addition to his responsibilities as faculty chair, Rees is the co-director of the Missouri Photo Workshop and co-director of the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame.

POYI became an RJI program in 2006 after Shaw took over POYI from Rees.

“When you have an historic event on the drawing board, you can’t go wrong handing the reins to someone who knows the history,” says Picht of Rees. “Not only that but David has lived the history and done it with great skill and attention to detail.”

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