Awards granted by George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep addresses the Dryden Theatre audience
after accepting her George Eastman Award in 1999.

Since opening its doors in 1949, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film has been a center for dialog about the history, conservation, creativity, and passion surrounding the photographs, motion pictures, cameras, and George Eastman legacy cared for at the Museum.

With the establishment of the George Eastman Award in 1955 and other awards established since, the Eastman House recognizes that same commitment in individuals who give of themselves to enrich the fields of photography and motion pictures in myriad ways.

George Eastman Award

The George Eastman Award for distinguished contribution to the art of film was established by George Eastman House in 1955 as the first film award given by an American archive to honor artistic work of enduring value.

The award was first presented to actors, actresses, directors, and cinematographers from the early years of silent film (1915-1925) and in 1957 to artists from the final years of the silent film era (1926-1930). The early recipients included Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Joan Crawford, Frank Capra, and Gary Cooper.

The George Eastman Award has since evolved to recognize a broader range of artistic talent in the film industry, from George Cukor and Fred Astaire to Martin Scorsese and Meryl Steep. The award ceremony was originally held at Eastman Theatre in Rochester but now takes place in George Eastman House's Dryden Theatre.

Established: 1955

James Stewart

Jimmy Stewart in the gardens at Eastman House
after receiving the George Eastman Award in 1978.

Awarded to:

  • Fred Astaire
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Richard Barthelmess
  • Joan Bennett
  • Clara Bow
  • Louise Brooks
  • Charles Chaplin
  • Maurice Chevalier
  • Ronald Colman
  • Gary Cooper
  • Joan Crawford
  • Viola Dana
  • Dolores Del Rio
  • Greta Garbo
  • Janet Gaynor
  • Richard Gere
  • Lillian Gish
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Buster Keaton
  • Harold Lloyd
  • Myrna Loy
  • Fredric March
  • Mae Marsh
  • Kim Novak
  • Ramon Novarro
  • Maureen O'Sullivan
  • Gregory Peck
  • Mary Pickford
  • William Powell
  • Luise Rainer
  • Isabella Rossellini
  • Norma Shearer
  • Sylvia Sidney
  • Meryl Streep
  • James Stewart
  • Gloria Swanson
  • Blanche Sweet
  • Norma Talmadge
  • Johnny Weissmuller
Jessica Lange

Jessica Lange in an Eastman House gallery, recipient of the Eastman House Honors in 2009.

  • Frank Borzage
  • Clarence Brown
  • Frank Capra
  • George Cukor
  • Cecil B. DeMille
  • John Ford
  • Henry King
  • Frank Lloyd
  • Marshall Neilan
  • Willard Van Dyke
  • King Vidor
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Josef von Sternberg
  • William Daniels
  • Arthur Edeson
  • George Folsey
  • Lee Garmes
  • James Wong Howe
  • Peverell Marley
  • Hal Mohr
  • Charles Rosher
  • Hal Rosson
  • John Seitz
  • Karl Struss

George Eastman Honorary Scholar

The title George Eastman Honorary Scholar, established in 1995, is presented for artistic achievement.

Awarded to:

  • Ken Burns (1995)
  • Norman Jewison (2000)
  • John Frankenheimer (2001)
  • Philip Kaufman (2003)
  • John Landis (2004)
  • James Ivory (2010)
  • Jonas Mekas (2011)
Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire in the Dryden Theatre before his George Eastman Award ceremony in 1965.

  • Dennis Hopper (1998/also for photography)
  • Tony Curtis (2000)
  • Richard Widmark (2002)
  • Jeff Bridges (2004/also for photography)

Cinematographer Haskell Wexler (2002)

Special-effects artist and animator Ray Harryhausen (2004)

Sound Designer and Film Editor Walter Murch (2005)

Film writer Roger Ebert (2006)

Musician and music-on-film preservationist Michael Feinstein (2009)

Author Elizabeth Brayer (2010)

Filmmaker Jonas Mekas (2011)

George Eastman Medal of Honor

Awarded in recognition of meritorious service to the advancement of the principles embodied by George Eastman.

Established 2006

Awarded to:

  • Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (2006)
  • Film writer Jack Garner (2007)
  • Fillmmaker/Director Ken Burns (2010)
  • Screenwriter Geoffrey C. Ward (2010)

Eastman House Honors

Granted to an artist whose life work embodies the traditions and values championed by George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film.

Established: 2009


Awarded to: Actor/photographer Jessica Lange (2009)

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