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Carnegie Hall Soirée Honors Photographer

Minkkinen Says ‘Kiitos’ for Lucie

Arno Minkkinen photo
Arno Minkkinen image from the Wellington Hotel with the statuette titled, Arno & Lucie, Looking Towards Times Square, Wellington Hotel, New York, 2013.

By Sheila Eppolito

Professor Arno Rafael Minkkinen has earned his share of notoriety: his work is exhibited in world-class venues including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Finnish Museum of Photography and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

But for the Finnish-born photographer, being selected as the Lucie Foundation’s 2013 honoree for achievement in fine art was something special. 

“It was one of the proudest moments of my artistic life,” says Minkkinen. “You don’t apply, you don’t even imagine — it just drops out of the sky. It’s not about money or fame, it’s just about the work. And knowing folks who got it, I would never imagine the shiny thing would one day come my way.”

The award was presented by Broadway producer Scott Landis (“Twelfth Night,” “Richard III,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It”) and renowned photographer Sally Mann in front of a full house at Carnegie Hall, including the Finnish ambassador, editors from Time and Aperture, and world-class photographers from around the world.

Mann’s introductory remarks about Minkinnen were especially well received.

“Arno is a man of enormous generosity and kindness and talent, so light-filled and lustrous that it parts your hair. He is surrounded by a bright nimbus of what Nabokov once called ‘aesthetic bliss,’ a state of being embracing curiosity, tenderness and ecstasy,” she said.

In accepting the award, Minkkinen invoked the Finnish word for thank you, citing his peers , instructors, presenters and family, saying “Kiitos, then, to the love of my life, my dear one, Sandra, and our amazing Dan … you don’t just stand behind my camera, you stand beside me.”