|Gustave Le Gray. The Brig, 1856|
According to my (not nerdy) V&A magazine, by the time the museum opened in 1857, the director, Henry Cole, had already amassed quite a collection of photographs. Some of these early works were donated by Prince Albert himself and others were acquired by Cole on studio visits to new practitioners; I love the idea of this – an English civil servant, whose picture probably appears next to 'Victorian' in the dictionary, going on studio visits to see the innovators of the new art form.. Anyway, in the years since, the collection has grown and grown, keeping pace with developments in the medium so that now, not only does the museum have a remarkable record of the very first developments in photography, but these works exist alongside recent acquisitions by contemporary artists - both established 'names' and up-and-coming practitioners. I love the V&A.
|Curtis Moffat, Dragonfly, c. 1930|
|Robert Howlett, Isambard Kingdom Brunel..., 1857|