GREAT BARRINGTON -- Members of the Great Barrington Selectboard are pleased to announce that June 24 will be recognized as Lucien Aigner Day, in honor of the famed photojournalist who called the town home for over 55 years.

At their meeting Monday night, May 21, the Selectboard signed a proclamation officially recognizing June 24 as a day to honor Aigner.

Aigner grew up in what is now modern day Slovakia. He worked as a photojournalist for a Hungarian newspaper company and was known as a pioneer in the industry for his use of small, handheld cameras, made by the German company Leica.

During his career, he photographed European news events leading up to World War II. Some of his most famous portrait subjects include United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and renowned physicist Albert Einstein.

Some of his photographs currently hang in Town Hall and many others were donated by Aigner's daughter, Anne-Marie Aigner, to the Great Barrington Historical Society in recent years.

"While he was born in Europe, Lucien Aigner called Great Barrington home for nearly 60 years," Selectboard Chair Stephen Bannon said. "When we were approached by his daughter recently about the idea of the town honoring him, we thought it would be great to pay tribute to his contributions to the world of photojournalism, as well as the impact he had locally."

A family reunion has been planned for June 24 and will include an invite-only exhibit of over 60 of Aigner's photographs, including some of his private works, at St. James Place, 352 Main St.

Following the private showing, the exhibit entitled, “Lucien Aigner: Journalist, Photographer, Favorite Son” will be opened up to the public for two weeks.

Aigner died in 1999 at the age of 98.

(press release sent to WSBS from Great Barrington Town Manager, Jennifer Tabakin for online and on air use; interior pic of St. James Place taken from the St. James Place Facebook page)