Mystic Seaport is pleased to announce the latest recipient of the William P. Stephens Award is maritime photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz.
Established in 1988, and named after William P. Stephens, long known as the “Dean of American Yachtsmen” and “the grand old man of American yachting,” the award is given periodically in recognition of a significant and enduring contribution to the history, preservation, progress, understanding, or appreciation of American yachting and boating.
“We are deeply honored to present this award to Benjamin Mendlowitz to recognize his life’s work capturing the beauty and craftsmanship of wooden boats,” said Mystic Seaport Museum President Steve White. “Much as the Rosenfeld family chronicled the early and middle of the 20th century of American yachting with their iconic black-and-white photographs, Mendlowitz applies his talented eye and intuitive sense of light and curve to portray the classic boats that remain from the past and to document the important vessels from our generation. His work helped drive the renaissance of wooden boats in America over the last 40 years.”
Mendlowitz was born and raised in New York City and drew his passion for boats and the sea from summers on the New Jersey Shore, where he was influenced by the local traditional boat builders. After graduating from Brandeis University, he embarked on a career in photography with his work appearing in WoodenBoat Magazine and other nautical publications. Through his company NOAH Publications, Mendlowitz publishes the Calendar of Wooden Boats, which has been a staple on the walls of wooden boat enthusiasts for more than 30 years.
Mendlowitz photographs have appeared regularly on the covers of many trade and educational books, and in feature articles and on the covers of the most respected boating magazines including WoodenBoat, Nautical Quarterly, Sail, Yachting, Cruising World, Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, Soundings, Chasse-Maree and L’annee Bateau (France), Classic Boat, (Britain), Yacht (Germany), and Arte Navale (Italy). His work has also appeared in magazines such as Time, Esquire, Money, People, Atlantic Monthly, Connoisseur, Historic Preservation, Field & Stream, Down East, Yankee, Sports Illustrated, The London Times Magazine, The Boston Globe Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, among many others.
Mendlowitz’s newest book, Herreshoff: American Masterpieces, created in collaboration with Maynard Bray and Claas van der Linde, was published in November 2016 by W.W. Norton & Company of New York. In 1998, Norton published Wood, Water & Light, a large-format, full-color book featuring more than 180 of Mendlowitz’s finest early images with accompanying text by Joel White. In addition to seven other book published by Norton, two books published by NOAH Publications feature his photography: Joel White: Boatbuilder, Designer (2002), with text by Bill Mayher and Maynard Bray and Aida (2012) by Maynard Bray.
The award was presented as part of the Castine Classic Race Symposium at the Maine Maritime Academy, in Castine, Maine, on July 31.
Previous recipients include Olin J. Stephens II, Jon Wilson, Elizabeth Meyer, Briggs Cunningham, John Gardner, Carleton Mitchell, Maynard Bray, John Rousmaniere, and Louie Howland.