John Kobal
by George Hurrell, 1982

The John Kobal Foundation



John Kobal was very keen to find a way in which he could see his own enthusiasm for photography continued after his death. In 1990 he formed The John Kobal Foundation as a charity to which he donated the photographic negatives and fine art photographs that he had collected over the years. These provide a source of income that is used by the foundation to encourage interest in and help advance the general public's appreciation and awareness of photography and particularly the area which most interested John - the art of portrait photography.

Since John's death in October 1991, the foundation first pursued this aim through the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award, an annual award for the best portrait photograph in association with the National Portrait Gallery. It ran for ten years from 1993-2002 and was regarded as the most prestigious award devoted to portrait photography in the UK, drawing well over 200,000 people to the National Portrait Gallery every year.

In recent years, the foundation sponsored, amongst other projects, the John Kobal Book Award in association with the Royal Photographic Society and it continues to encourage emerging photographers through the grant of John Kobal New Work Awards to help towards the costs of creating or exhibiting new work.

 
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