Award and prizes

A lifetime achievement that was richly rewarded

Lennart Nilsson received a number of prestigious awards and prizes for his groundbreaking photographic oeuvre. In 1965, he was given the American Society of Magazine Photographers “Photographer of the Year Award” for his series Drama of Life Before Birth. He was also the first recipient of the Hasselblad Award. His TV productions Sagan om livet (The Miracle of Life) and Vår okända värld (The Unknown World) from the serie The Saga of Life won him three Emmy Awards.

Lennart Nilsson had an honorary doctorate from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and he was an honourary doctor of philosophy at both the Braunschweig University of Technology in Germany and Linköping University. In 2009, he was awarded the title of Professor by the Swedish government.

The Lennart Nilsson Award Foundation was established in 1998. It’s main aim is to promote education, training and research within the medical, biological and engineering sciences trough the use of images. This is achieved through the Lennart Nilsson Award, an international award bestowed annually upon an individual in recognition of outstanding contributions within the realm of scientific photography. Award recipients are people who work in the spirit of Lennart Nilsson, revealing science to the world in beautiful, unique and powerful ways.


A Selection of Recognistions

1965 American Society of Magazine Photographers, Photographer of the Year Award, Drama of Life Before Birth

1965 National Press Photographers Association, Picture of the Year

1967 Nordens fotograf

1968 American Heart Association’s main prize for his Life magazine article on the heart attack

1972 KTH – Royal Institute of Technology Award

1976 Natur och Kultur Art Award

1976 Honorary Doctorate of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

1980 The Hasselblad Award

1982 The Emmy Award (national), The Miracle of Life

1983 The Emmy Award (international), The Miracle of Life

1987 The 1986 Rosén Award

1989 Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), Grand Gold Medal

1991 World Press Photo, Science & Technology, Singles, Honorable mention

1991 Leica Medal of Exellence Award, Person of the Year

1992 International Center of Photography (ICP), The Infinity Award, Master of Photography

1993 German Society for Photography, Cultur Award

1994 The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, The Progress Medal

1996 The Royal Swedish Society Pro Patria’s Grand Gold Medal

1997 World Press Photo, Science & Technology, Stories, 1st prize

2002 Honorary Doctor of Philosophy at the Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany

2002 The Swedish Goverment’s Illis Qurom (twelfth order)

2003 Honorary Doctor of Philosophy at Linköping University

2009 Title of Professor by the Swedish Government

2012 Karolinska Institutet’s Jubilee Gold Medal