Donna Ferrato is an internationally-known documentary photographer. Her gifts for exploration, illumination, and documentation coupled with a commitment to revealing the darker sides of humanity, have made her a giant in the medium. 

Ferrato first received critical acclaim for her work that captured the horrors of family violence. Her photographs of domestic violence and its aftermath have become landmark essays in the field of documentary photography, challenging social attitudes and putting a spotlight on the devastating impact of everyday violence. Her iconic book, Living with the Enemy, published by Aperture in 1991, is considered the first clear visual journey into the dark heart of domestic abuse. It has been reprinted four times, selling over 40,000 copies worldwide.

Through exhibitions of her work and lectures across the globe, Ferrato has brought widespread attention to violence against women and girls. In 2008, a proclamation from the City of New York announced October 30 “Donna Ferrato Appreciation Day” for her “continued service as an example of advocacy and activism and as a citizen that the city is proud to call one of its own.” In October 2009, the New York State Supreme Court Judges honored Ferrato for her work to encourage gender equality. Oct 13, 2011, East Hampton’s shelter, The Retreat, honored Donna for her continual inspiration as an activist against the abuse of women.

Ferrato has received numerous awards, including the W. Eugene Smith Grant (1986), the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Humanistic Photography (1987), the Kodak Crystal Eagle for Courage in Journalism (1997), International Women in Media Courage in Journalism Award (1996), the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the School of Journalism at University of Missouri-Columbia (2003), Artist of the Year at the Tribeca Film Festival (2008) and the LOOK3 Insightful Artist of the Year (2013). Ferrato’s current project offers a unique look at the New York neighborhood of TriBeCa.

Ferrato has been a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the W. Eugene Smith Grant, she was the president and founder of Domestic Abuse Awareness, Inc and she is now a member of Facing Change Documenting America (FCDA). Her work has appeared in nearly 500 exhibitions in museums and galleries world wide, and is included in various permanent collections such as the International Center for Photography in New York City, the Corcoran in Washington DC and the Henry Buhl’s Hands Collection.

In September 2014 the first “I Am Unbeatable” exhibition premiered at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Cohen Memorial Hall, under the curation of Joseph Mella. It spotlighted the best work from “Living with the Enemy” as well as the new story of Unbeatable Woman Sarah Jones.

 

In 2016 TIME listed Ferrato's photograph of a man hitting his wife as one of the "100 Most Influential Photographs of All Time."

List of Awards:

 

  • NPPA Humanitarian Award (2016)

  • LOOK3 Insightful Artist of the Year (2013)

  • Oct 13, 2011, East Hampton’s shelter, The Retreat, honored Donna for her continual inspiration as an activist against the abuse of women.

  • In October 2009, the New York State Supreme Court Judges honored Ferrato for her work to encourage gender equality.

  • Artist of the Year at the Tribeca Film Festival (2008)

  • A proclamation from the City of New York announced October 30, 2008 “Donna Ferrato Appreciation Day” for her “continued service as an example of advocacy and activism and as a citizen that the city is proud to call one of its own.”

  • Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the School of Journalism at University of Missouri-Columbia (2003)

  • Kodak Crystal Eagle for Courage in Journalism (1997)

  • International Women in Media Courage in Journalism Award (1996)

  • Robert F. Kennedy Award for Humanistic Photography (1987)

  • W. Eugene Smith Grant (1986)

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