The Hasselblad award was presented for the 18th time on Saturday 4 March 1999. The award winner, William Eggleston, Memphis, received the award from Her Royal Highness Princess Désirée, at a ceremony at Artisten in Göteborg. The award sum was SEK 500,000. In conjunction with the ceremony an exhibit of the award winner’s work, William Eggleston – 1998 Hasselblad award winner, opened at the Hasselblad Center at the Göteborg Art Museum.
The Foundation’s citation:
William Eggleston has been a pioneer in the field of color photography since the 1970s. With his specific vision of the real world, particularly the American South, he has developed the color photograph as an independent medium. He has also come to utilize the potential of color to the full, seeing it as a fundamental feature of perception. To Eggleston, color became a vital aspect of capturing daily life and its surroundings. He has introduced a new aesthetic, a new "democratic" way of seeing – more influenced by his personal vision than by previous stylistic models. Just as Robert Frank established an informal "beat" aesthetic in his work in the 1950s, in the 1970s William Eggleston has transformed the potential of what can be expressed with color.