The GCI's Landmarks initiative began in late 1993 when the Institute asked eight young people from around Los Angeles to photograph designated heritage sites and their personal neighborhood landmarks and to comment on their significance. The result was a powerful collection of photographs and commentary that broadened the traditional definition of what constitutes a landmark. The success of the project's exhibition and book, Picture L.A., led the GCI to organize similar projects in other cities around the world, including Cape Town, Mumbai (Bombay), and Mexico City.
The final project, Picture Paris: Landmarks of a New Generation, opens in April at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris. Under the guidance of photographer France de Ramecourt, nine young Parisians—Justine Lee, Nyouma Konate, Mathieu Bensa-Wegner, Mathilde Schneider, Linda Bourabaa, Charlotte Ricard, Nicolas Strohl, Hendrick Hegray, and Jérémie Garnier, ages 11 through 17—photographed their city in a refreshing way, identifying the landmarks in their lives. A catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition (See Picture Paris).
The GCI Landmarks projects have inspired other places to undertake their own picture projects. Picture Salzburg was initiated by the ARCH (Art Restoration for Cultural Heritage) Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1991 by Francesca von Habsburg. The ARCH Foundation received support for the project from the Salzburg mayor's office, Salzburger Sparkasse-Kulturfonds, and several local businesses. The project's nine photographers, ages 9 through 18, were: Simon Gassner, Benjamin Gauss, Ruth Hetzer, Laura Hochhäusl, Philippa Lovrek, Judith Rohrmoser, Goswin Rothenthal, Stefanie Wacht, and Marlies Winkelmeier. The exhibition was held at the Galerie der Stadt Salzburg, Museumspavillon, Mirabell Gardens, August 28 through September 14, 1997. The opening was hosted by the mayor of Salzburg and attended by over five hundred people. ARCH published a bilingual catalogue in conjunction with the exhibition.
Picture Delaware, currently under way, is a collaborative effort of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, the Christina Cultural Arts Center, the Delaware Art Museum, the Delaware College of Art and Design, the Delaware Department of Public Instruction, Preservation Delaware, and the Rehoboth Art League. Picture Delaware will be exhibited at the Delaware Art Museum in October 1998.
An exhibition of images and videos from the Institute's Landmarks projects was on display at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in October 1997 on the occasion of the general assembly's biennial meeting, the theme of which was youth. For the first time, photographs from all five GCI projects and Picture Salzburg were presented in a single exhibition. The Picture Paris youth, as well as Osofu Washington of Picture L.A. and Jolene Martin of Picture Cape Town, were on hand. During the exhibition, UNESCO passed a motion to adopt Landmarks into their global agenda for cultural heritage, expanding the reach of the GCI's initiative.