Dr. Anthony Bannon is the seventh director of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, N.Y., and has served in that role longer than any previous director. George Eastman House was founded in 1947 and is the world’s oldest and largest independent museum of photography and motion pictures.
During his tenure, George Eastman House launched off two world-renowned graduate photographic and film preservation schools and a post- graduate school with Rochester Institute of Technology. He directed alliances with museums and collectors in major U.S. cities, in addition to acquiring important collections from photographers and filmmakers. He is currently working to organize a satellite school in South Korea.
He has worked as a critic, filmmaker, and educator. Prior to his Eastman House appointment in 1996, Bannon was the director of Cultural Affairs at the State University of New York College at Buffalo and director of its Burchfield Penney Art Center. His book Photo Pictorialists of Buffalo won the American Photographic Historical Society’s merit award and his writing on deafness won the Gallaudet University Award. Bannon’s recent publications include essays in the catalog on the photographers Steve McCurry, Diane Bush, Hiroshi Watanabe, and Roger Eberhard.
Bannon has been recognized by the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester with the Outstanding Achievement Award, and as CEO of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America, Rochester Chapter. He was named Outstanding Arts Administrator of the Year by Buffalo’s Chamber of Commerce and Arts Council. In 2007 Bannon earned the Golden Career Award from the FOTOfusion Festival of Photography & Digital Imaging. He was recognized for his “far-reaching leadership and scholarship in the cultural community” and for having “given unstintingly of his time and effort” to his museum and as a board member for several organizations. “Most important, he is one of the most efficient and effective museum directors today,” noted Arnold H. Drapkin, director of FOTOfusion and former Picture Editor for Time magazine, who presented the award.
Bannon is a board member for the Rochester School for the Deaf, the H.H. Richardson Restoration National Board, and the Rochester International Fringe Festival. Nationally he served on the Smithsonian Secretary’s Council (Washington, D.C.), Santa Fe Center for the Visual Arts (New Mexico), New York Council on the Humanities (Board of Directors and Executive Committee), the Alliance of New York State Art Organizations (Executive Committee), Palm Springs Photo Festival, and the New York State Association of Museums.
Bannon earned a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Bonaventure University, and his Master’s Degree in Media Studies and his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies are from the English Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo.