September 23, 2003
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.-The Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University has given the 2002 William P. Clements Prize to Martha A. Sandweiss, professor of American studies and history at Amherst College, for Print the Legend: Photography and the American West, a cultural history of photography in the American West during the 19th century that tracks how the new medium of photography created and shaped popular understanding of the region.
The Clements Prize is given annually to the best non-fiction work about southwestern America. The prize committee noted that in Sandweiss's "richly illustrated new book, she tells the intertwined stories of photography and the American West-a new medium and a new place that came of age together in the nineteenth century." Michael Kammen, in Reviews in American History, wrote, "Sandweiss has given us a truly remarkable book, written with clarity and grace, and superbly illustrated with many unfamiliar images and shrewd juxtapositions of photographs and the more fanciful lithographs that embellished them."
A member of the Amherst College faculty since 1989, Sandweiss was also the director of the Mead Art Museum from 1989 until 1997, and formerly the curator of photographs at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Tex. She received her Ph.D., M.Phil. and M.A. degrees in history from Yale University, and a B.A. from Radcliffe College. She is the author of Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace (1986), co-author of Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848 (1989), editor of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (1991), co-editor of The Oxford History of the American West (1994) and a contributor to numerous volumes on the art and photography of the American West.