by Shannon Turkewitz, Member of IPS Executive Council and
Project Director, 50th Anniversary Committee
Bang! The planning of the 50th Anniversary of IPS burst off the starting line in late 2015. The ‘photo finish’ will be a Special Exhibition at the newly renovated IMF HQ-1, by a club whose members have already shared captivating photographic images with each other for the past five decades.
Ceyda Oner and Dorte Verner solicited ideas and volunteers at IPS monthly meetings and the Executive Council allocated funds from the club’s reserves. Manuel Morquecho, Ji Won Park and Manuella Palmioli were the first to step forward to plan festivities. They decided a photo exhibit, historical in nature, and timeless in appeal, would be the proper way to celebrate our photo club. The idea was warmly received by the Executive Council and club membership. Mary Wilson and Shannon Turkewitz came on board shortly thereafter to find additional resources, coordinate logistics and reach out to past and current members.
Park and Morquecho researched the IPS archives to find notable past members who they hoped would participate in the club’s anniversary. Fred Cochard was a tremendous resource in this effort, as was club historian Michael Wishart. In his time with the club, Wishart had compiled an extensive IPS history, including lists of past club presidents and Photographers of the Year dating to the club’s origins in 1966.
On May 4, the anniversary committee issued a call for photo submissions for a 50th Anniversary Exhibit called 50 Photos, 50 Years. Armed with IPS membership rolls, Turkewitz notified current and former members about the upcoming anniversary and exhibit. She and other committee members sent out emails, notified the retirement organizations of the World Bank and IMF, posted in the IPS Facebook group and advertised on the newly redesigned IPS website. By the end of June, Turkewitz had received hundreds of amazing images from IPS members all over the world.
Turkewitz assembled and prepped the submitted images to hand over to Morquecho, who had volunteered to curate the exhibit. At Morquecho’s request, she printed the images individually on regular printer paper. Each photo was then labeled with a number – indicating the photographer – and an ‘a,’ ‘b,’ or ‘c,’ for the (up to) three submissions from that photographer. In this way, Morquecho could look through, rearrange, and compare various photographs without knowing who had submitted the images, but was also able to ensure he did not choose more than one image from each photographer.
The 50th anniversary committee asked Morquecho to include one photograph from each of the past IPS presidents as part of the 50 photos in the exhibit. For these photos, Turkewitz added an ‘h’ to the number. The ‘h’ specified that the photo belonged to an honored member who was to be included into the exhibit.
How did curator Manuel Morquecho possibly choose only 50 photos and weave together a jaw-dropping and comprehensive exhibit? Luckily Morquecho took up that baton and ran with it, steady and true. —To be continued.