Photography Collection at Victoria & Albert Museum

Image is of ‘Poppy’, a Cyanotype by Anna Atkins, about 1852. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Great website to explore that covers the extensive photography collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Spend some time and browse.
The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in London has an incredibly varied collection of artifacts that span 5,000 years and includes architecture, furniture, clothing and textiles, sculpture, painting, jewelry, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, and of course, photography. The V&A has been collecting photography since the very beginning of the medium in the mid-nineteenth century and its collection is especially strong in the work of early photographers. This is in part because approximately 270,000 photographs from the collection of the Royal Photographic Society, as well as camera equipment, books, and photographer’s journals, was transferred to the V&A in 2016. The V&A plans to open a new Photography Centre in October of 2018, making this website the best way to currently view its photos. A few examples are presented here, such as a 1953 official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton, or one of MIT professor Harold “Doc” Edgerton’s milkdrop photos. A great way to get a glimpse of the V&A’s photographic riches is a short video narrated by several photography curators, “Introducing the photography collection,” and a feature including video and images of early photographer Julia Margaret Cameron.

Posted by Dan Hyde

Dan is the Chair of the Lewisburg Photography Club.