NEWS: Victoria and Albert Museum Announces Plans for New Photography Centre

The London museum has confirmed that it will be expanding its collection of historical and contemporary photographs, with the transfer of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) collection from the Science Museum Group. 

Arrival of the RPS Collection at the V&A © Victoria and Albert Museum, London (6).jpg

The arrival of the Royal Photographic Society collection at the V&A. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London. 

This news means that the V&A’s collection will now include an extra 270,000 photographs, 26,000 publications and 6,000 pieces of camera-related equipment.

It was also confirmed that 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, which is set to open in the Autumn 2018.

The creation of the new photography centre also means that the V&A will more than double its current photography display area in original nineteenth-century picture galleries by 2018.

Purpose- built storage facilities have been created to house the expanded photography collection, with an extensive project to catalogue and digitise the RPS collection is now underway.

Talking about the news, Tristram Hunt said: “Photography is set to become one of the defining collections of the 21st century V&A. We have been conserving and interpreting photography since 1852, and we are now delighted to welcome the RPS collection to the Museum. Today, the V&A cares for one of the most important photography collections in the world. We want to share this remarkable resource with audiences and photography enthusiasts on a global scale, both in person and through an unparalleled digital resource.”

The Royal Photography Society collection includes: 270,000 photographs, including the world’s earliest photographic images made in the 1820s, unique daguerreotypes and pioneering colour photographs, cameras and equipment associated with leading photographers as well as  work by British pioneers including William Henry Fox Talbot, Hill & Adamson, Roger Fenton and Julia Margaret Cameron.

When not on display, photographs from the Victoria and Albert collection can be accessed in the Prints & Drawings Study Room.