V&A announces plans for new Photography Centre

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
V&A announces plans for new Photography Centre

Today, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) announces the expansion of its vast collection of historic and contemporary photography with the transfer of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) collection from the Science Museum Group. The addition of over 270,000 photographs, 26,000 publications and 6,000 pieces of camera-related equipment reinforces the V&A’s position as one of the most important photography collections in the world.

V&A announces plans for new Photography Centre

Today, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) announces the expansion of its vast collection of historic and contemporary photography with the transfer of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) collection from the Science Museum Group. The addition of over 270,000 photographs, 26,000 publications and 6,000 pieces of camera-related equipment reinforces the V&A’s position as one of the most important photography collections in the world.

Through its FuturePlan development project, the V&A will establish a new Photography Centre, creating a new public space to celebrate, appreciate and study photography. Due to open in Autumn 2018, it will be accompanied by a Museum-wide photography festival and a new digital resource for photography enthusiasts around the world. 

The creation of the Photography Centre will see the V&A more than double its current photography display area in original nineteenth-century picture galleries by 2018. Designed by David Kohn Architects, it will allow the V&A to display a larger number and range of photographs, negatives, camera technology, books and archival materials than ever before. The Photography Centre will also facilitate exciting events and activities. Phase two of the project will expand the gallery space further and provide a teaching and research space, a browsing library, and a studio and darkroom to enable photographers’ residencies.

New purpose-built storage facilities have been created to house the expanded photography collection, and an extensive project to catalogue and digitise the RPS collection is now underway. This digitisation will provide web access and research resources for all audiences and photography lovers around the world. The Museum will also continue its programme of major photographic exhibitions at the V&A and other venues in the UK and overseas. 

Image on top:  Anna Atkins (1799-1871), Poppy from Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Flowering Plants and Ferns, 1852-4. Cyanotype © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

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