2016 Leica Hall of Fame Awardee

2016 Leica Hall of Fame Awardee

Leica Celebrates the Lifework of Ara Güler, Iconic Turkish Photographer


Allendale, NJ—Leica Camera announced that Magnum photographer Ara Güler is the recipient of the 2016 Leica Hall of Fame Award. Arguably Turkey’s most eminent photographer, Güler’s work will be featured in a major exhibit in the Leica Masters of Photography Gallery during photokina. Located in Cologne, Germany, photokina will be held September 20–25, 2016.

Originally from Istanbul, Güler is most known for his black-and-white images of the metropolis on the shores of the Bosporus during the 1950s and 1960s. His portrayal of city life in Istanbul—his home for more than 60 years—has been a recurring subject throughout Güler’s career. This has earned him the nickname The Eye of Istanbul.

Ara Güler

“In his own unique way, Ara Güler documented everyday life and captured moments of change both large and small in the only city in the world that sits astride two continents, thus earning the nickname The Eye of Istanbul,” commented Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, chief representative, Leica Galleries International.

“The power of Ara Güler’s images of his city and images capturing important political events clearly illustrate the decisive role he has played in the evolution of 20th century photography. We have therefore chosen to honor his notable and outstanding work with the Leica Hall of Fame Award”

Ara Güler was born in Istanbul on August 16, 1928. While in college, Güler decided he no longer wanted to pursue a career in economics. Instead, he opted to become a self-taught photographer.

He was soon after recognized for his work as a reporter and photojournalist for Turkish publications. He traveled the world with his Leica camera, shooting political affairs and public figures. These include Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Alfred Hitchcock, Winston Churchill and Pablo Picasso. In 1961, he was employed as head of the photographic department at the Turkish magazine Hayat (Life).

Güler views himself as a visual historian who “captures what happens around him.” He dislikes being described as an artist and has stated, “Photography is not an art. It is more important than art.”

His work has received numerous awards. In 1961, Photography Annual described him as one of the world’s seven best photographers. He was awarded the title Master of Leica in 1962 and, in 1999, was honored with the Turkish Photographer of the Century Award.

The 2016 Leica Hall of Fame Award will be presented to Ara Güler in Istanbul at the end of this year.  Visitors to photokina will have the opportunity to view the exhibition celebrating the photographer and his work. It will be on view in the Leica Masters of Photography Gallery (Hall 1). The exhibit will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., September 20–25, 2016.

The Leica Hall of Fame Award

The Leica Hall of Fame Award was first bestowed in 2011. And it shares the tradition of earlier awards instituted by Leica Camera AG. It honors exceptional photographers for their particular contributions to the photographic genre or invaluable services to the Leica brand.

The Leica Hall of Fame is a noncompetitive award judged exclusively on merit. Previous winners include Magnum photographer Steve McCurry; Barbara Klemm, editorial photographer at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; and Nick Út, for his documentation of contemporary history in his images of the Vietnam War.

Another prominent photographers honored with the Leica Hall of Fame Award is René Burri. He is known for his emotive images captured before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Also awarded ws Thomas Hoepker. Hoepker documented people and events of contemporary history with his Leica M.   His photography is said to have influenced reportage photography in the second half of the 20th century. us.leica-camera.com