Museum of Photographic Arts
Museum of Photographic Arts Schwartz Gallery
The collection of the Museum of Photographic Arts encompasses the full spectrum of the photographic medium, as well as materials and documents related to the history and process of these art forms. Since its beginnings in 1983, MoPA has maintained an archive of such materials as an important adjunct to its exhibition and education programs and a singular asset for the community. This reflects its curatorial tenet that "although art objects are carefully preserved within the museum space, the collection as a whole is held by the public, representing who we are and what we value as a culture."
The collection attempts to trace the entire history of photography: its aesthetic movements and technological advancements. Processes from Daguerreotypes, salt prints, Woodbury types, albumen prints, ambrotypes and tintypes, through such contemporary processes as 20 X 24" Polaroid photographs and laser holograms are collected for their aesthetics and their importance to the historical periods of their derivation. The collection is strong in its Daguerrian holdings as well as mid-twentieth century Soviet Russian photography. And while the entire collection illustrates the complex and varied history of the medium, its major areas of strength are in modern and contemporary work, specifically in social documentary photography and photojournalism.
Contemporary color and black-and-white photographs—many by artists the museum has exhibited—are actively collected from all over the world to keep pace with this very vigorous period of production. A small selection of videotapes and films are also held in the collection.
The museum's collection reflects the central role photography plays in our image-based culture, both as an expressive medium and as a documentary record. Holdings currently include 7,000 photographs that span the history of photography.
All the works in the museum's collection are housed, maintained and conserved in a state-of-the-art humidity and temperature controlled cold storage vault. Periodic exhibitions are assembled from the collection. Requests are accepted for short period loans to museums or university galleries, if conditions of transport, care, insurance, and proper crediting are observed. With advance reservations, serious scholars may make arrangements to view specific holdings from the collection in the museum's library.
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Pictures and information were provided by the Museum of Photographic Arts Schwartz Gallery
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