by Ji Won Park


On a crisp, late October evening, nearly 200 IPS members and our family and friends gathered at the newly renovated IMF HQ1 Atrium Gallery to celebrate the opening of “Dialogue through Time | 50 Years, 50 Photos,” a special exhibition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of IPS’ founding in 1966. Among those present were IPS’ inaugural president Sven Cronquist and other past IPS presidents: Maurice Asseo, John Cleaves, Curt Carnemark, Bassirou Sarr, Raju Singh and Michele Egan.

IPS Current and Past Presidents

IPS Current and Past Presidents

Current IPS president Ceyda Oner opened the program by thanking everyone for coming and sharing in the event, and recognized long time member Fred Cochard for the vital role he has played in documenting the club’s history. Ceyda then introduced First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton who delivered welcoming remarks. Mr. Lipton recalled seeing IPS’ 15th Annual Exhibition when he was a young economist at the IMF and congratulated the club on its golden anniversary. Mr. Lipton spoke about the important role that IPS plays in sustaining the social fabric of the IMF and the World Bank and in giving the community a chance to pause and share in the photographs. Though he said he would not be present for it, he hoped that IPS will be around to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Mary Wilson, 50th Anniversary Committee Chairwoman and former IPS president, spoke next about the theme of interconnectedness that is at the heart of “Dialogue through Time.”

As with all other aspects of IPS’ operation, the organization of the exhibition and opening reception and publication of the companion book rested with dedicated volunteers who worked tirelessly for nearly a year to turn dreams into reality:  Manuel Morquecho, Manuella Lea Palmioli, Shannon Turkewitz, Mary Wilson, Dorte Verner, Ceyda Oner and myself. Of course the 50th anniversary committee did not and could not accomplish these tasks on our own. The exhibitors graciously responded to our numerous inquiries and we had help from many past and current members including especially IPS vice president Bermet Sydygalieva and program director Xiaoxiao Peng.  All gave their time and knowledge and muscle to ensure the success of the celebrations.

Throughout it all, the committee was always mindful that the celebrations could not take place without all those photography loving souls who founded the club and those who played their part to nurture the club for half a century, to the benefit of all of us who follow in their footsteps. Some of their names have been faithfully recorded on the pages of the Shutter Release, which itself turned 40 this year. In the months and years to come, they will be joined by new volunteers who will inject new energy into the club with their unique talents and love of photography and community and keep the dialogue going.

The result of our collective effort will hopefully be as Sven Cronquist remarked at the close of the club’s first season: “In the Camera Club of this international institution we have seen real proof of efforts and good fellowship transcending nationalities, and resulting in understanding of, and appreciation and feeling for the art of photography.”

p.s. Happy Birthday to IPS members turning 50 this year! You know who you are. 🙂