RIT and Leica Camera Announce May 6 as “Leica Day”

Leica Camera CEO to make camera donation to RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

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Andreas Kaufmann, CEO of Leica Camera, will visit Rochester Institute of Technology on Tuesday, May 6, the centerpiece to a two-day informational tour.

Kaufmann, traveling from Leica headquarters in Solms, Germany, will donate 20 Leica M4 cameras and 20 Leica Summarit-M lenses to RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. Eastman Kodak Co. will donate 400 rolls of the new Kodak Professional Portra 400 NC film.

RIT photo faculty and students will host the visit, appropriately named “Leica Day.” A reception on May 6 will feature the presentation of the cameras by Kaufmann to William DuBois, chair of photographic arts and professor in RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. The presentation will take place at 3 p.m. in the James E. Booth Building, Webb Auditorium. Photography students will also be on hand for the presentation.

Kaufmann and Leica Camera have acquired 20 Leica M4, which were first introduced in 1967. The cameras have been completely refurbished and restored to their original aptitudes at the Leica factory in Solms, Germany.

In addition to Kaufmann’s presentation, the visit will highlight award-winning photographers Chris Usher and Alex Webb, who will host free lectures as well as hands-on workshops with students and faculty. Usher’s lecture is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 5, in Van Peursem Auditorium in the Gosnell Building on the RIT campus. Webb speaks at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, in Webb Auditorium. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

“The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences is thrilled to receive this generous donation,” says DuBois. “As long as film is being produced, we are committed to teaching our students how to incorporate it into their professional repertoire. We are looking forward to hosting Dr. Kaufmann here at RIT. And we are grateful to Kodak for donating 400 rolls of their new Portra 400 NC film as part of this donation.”

“With technology advancing at such a fast pace, we are thrilled to bring a part of Leica history to these deserving students,” states Kaufmann. “We hope they will get the most out of the donated M4 and lenses, and that they help the students become better photographers.”

About Leica Camera

Leica represents a union of craftsmanship, technology and experience. It is at once an extension of art, knowledge and philosophy, providing a state-of-the-art optical experience in a precision, hand-made photographic instrument. Leica Camera has a simple mission: to provide users with an incomparable experience, an instrument that defines an unsurpassed heritage and sets a standard of excellence for the industry to meet. For more than 160 years, Leica has maintained a tradition of precision manufacturing and consistent innovation, which have steadily reinforced its preeminent worldwide reputation.

About RIT

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. Nearly 16,000 full- and part-time students are enrolled in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs at RIT, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For nearly two decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review features RIT in its 2007 Best 361 Colleges rankings and named the university one of America’s “Most Wired Campuses.” RIT is also featured in Barron’s Best Buys in Education.

About Eastman Kodak Co.

As the world’s foremost imaging innovator, Kodak helps consumers, businesses, and creative professionals unleash the power of pictures and printing to enrich their lives. To learn more, visit www.kodak.com, and the company’s blogs: 1000words.kodak.com and 1000nerds.kodak.com. Kodak is a trademark of Eastman Kodak Co.

About Chris Usher

Based in Washington, D.C., Chris Usher’s award-winning photojournalism work appears regularly in domestic and international monthly and weekly publications including Time, People, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, Der Spiegel and Sports Illustrated.Usher's documentary exhibit—Behind the Velvet Rope—of behind-the-scenes moments at the White House opens at the Southeast Museum of Photography in the fall of 2008. His focus of the last two years has been a personal project entitled "One of Us" documenting people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Usher covered Katrina for Time magazine and was profoundly affected by the survivors of the storm and their personal accounts as told to him during repeat visits to them in New Orleans and throughout the United States. His arresting images are currently in development as a book and traveling exhibition. Usher's lecture is sponsored by Leica in cooperation with Eastman Kodak.

About Alex Webb

Leica photographer Alex Webb joined Magnum Photos as an associate member in 1976. He has published seven photography books, including Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds: Photographs from the Tropics, Crossings, and Istanbul: City of a Hundred Names. Articles about Webb’s photographs have appeared in Art in America and Modern Photography. His work has been on exhibit in the United States and Europe. Since 1975, Webb has participated in numerous exhibitions around the world. His work is included in such collections as the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Mass.; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego; the Southland Collection in Dallas; the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and the Getty Center for the Arts and the Humanities in Santa Monica, Calif. Webb’s lecture is sponsored by Leica Camera.