© Casey Kelbaugh

The fair’s first edition also marks the launch of the 21c Acquisition Prize, an annual award established in partnership with 21c Museum Hotels and in collaboration with Chief Curator Alice Gray. 

Deciding to purchase three artworks, co-founders of 21c Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson say: ‘The work at PHOTOFAIRS New York is exceptional in caliber and truly sophisticated, with so many interesting examples of artists pushing the boundaries of photography. The three works joining the collection represent a mixture of international artists and innovative practices that build on the strengths of the 21c Museum Hotels collection. We are looking forward to presenting these works in future exhibitions.’ Work by Caleb Kwarteng Prah (Nil Gallery), Lucia Engstrom (Von Lintel Gallery) and a piece by Emma Safir (Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York) were acquired. 

“21c seeks to support today’s most dynamic artists, working in a wide range of media and addressing the pressing issues of our time,” says Stites. “We are excited about discovering visionary artists working in innovative photographic and digital media at the inaugural edition of PHOTOFAIRS New York and expanding the collection further through the establishment of the 21c Acquisition Prize.