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Candela Books was founded in 2010 to produce a book featuring the work of New York photographer Gita Lenz, whose striking imagery had been all but forgotten since originally being produced in the 1940s and 1950s. Lenz’ story is a compelling one. She had been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and elsewhere, but her career was cut short due to the inherent challenges facing most anyone making a career in photography in the mid-20th century. Though Lenz had many noteworthy accomplishments, and her work is represented in both public and private collections, no book had existed to document her life’s work. So in an attempt to augment the legacy of this talented photographer, Gordon Stettinius created Candela Books and published Gita Lenz. Our most recent book, Pine Tree Ballads, by Paul Thulin, was released in early 2019.

In 2011, Stettinius founded Candela Gallery, which has exhibited the work of Shelby Lee Adams, Gita Lenz, Chris McCaw, Cristina de Middel, Linda Connor, Maggie Taylor, Courtney Johnson, Louis Draper, Susan Worsham, Kahn & Selesnick, Ervin A. Johnson, Willie Anne Wright and Andreas Rentsch, among others. We have also initiated an annual summer juried and invitational exhibition – UnBound! – which is designed to support fine art photographers by purchasing work from the exhibition, with proceeds from an annual fundraising gala event. The Candela Collection will, one day, be donated to another significant permanent collection.

As a publisher, we are committed to the quality and design of our photography books. Partnering with D.A.P. for our distribution, our books have a great reach. As a gallery, Candela’s goal is to share the work of nationally notable photographers here in Richmond, in hopes of elevating the level of discourse around contemporary photography.

Video by Chris Hanson