The Photographic Studio at the V&A - talk by James Stevenson
28 June 2012
Venue: V&A (Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre)
Address: Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
Disabled Access: This event has wheelchair access
Price: FREE (FIRST COME FIRST SERVED)
A fascinating, free lunch time talk that will give you a rare insight into the V&A's vast photography collection and the running of a world-class archive.
James Stevenson, Photographic Manager at the Victoria and Albert Musuem, leads this talk illustrated with images from all periods of the studio's history, with an emphasis on why the protection of photographic archives is important to the history of the institution and how it continues to be a priority in an almost electronic world.
The V&A undoubtedly houses one of the most impressive photographic collections in the world. This talk will explain the origins of the V&A Photographic Studio and how the collection is archived, as well as how new technology in 1856 enabled the museum to fulfill its public service remit of bringing the collection to a wide public audience. This philosophy has continued to the present day, where a wide range of multimedia is used for the same purpose.
This lunch time talk will give a rare insight into the V&A's vast photography collection including:
- How the collection came about and how and why the V&A has been at the forefront of photographic practise since the 1800s
- How the museum archives its collection
- The contents of the collection
Why is the V&A Archive so important?
The history of the photography collection in the V&A is closely connected with the development of the museum as a whole. Its first director, Henry Cole, was an amateur photographer himself and a great supporter of the art of photography. He began a photography collection in 1856, the year that the South Kensington Museum, now the V&A, was established. Since then, the collection has grown to be international in scope and comprises over 300,000 images dating from 1839 to the present.
The museum began acquiring photographs in 1852, and its collection is now one of the largest and most important in the world. International in scope, it ranges from the beginnings of photography to the present. Most of the photographs not currently on display are available through the Prints & Drawings Study Room.
Visit the V&A Photography Archive
The best part is that the collection is there for all to enjoy. The Prints & Drawings Study Room is where you can study and enjoy the V&A's wonderful collections of 750,000 prints, drawings, paintings and photographs.
For further details and to search the online catalogue of objects that you can view in the Prints & Drawings Study Room, please see the Study Room Catalogues.
Who can use the Prints & Drawings study room?
- Individuals: The Study Room is freely available to adults and children alike and there is no restriction on admission.
BOOKS ABOUT THE V&A:
Paper Conservation Studio. Photography by V&A Photographic Studio
Textiles Studio. Photography by V&A Photographic Studio
Lieutenant General Clark Kennedy. Silvy, Camille
Église du Sacré Coeur (Church of the Sacred Heart), Montmartre, Paris, France. Atget, Jean-Eugène-Auguste