The rise of photography towards artistic respectability in Britain is continuing with the foundation of a major museum.
The London Museum of Photography is to become the second major gallery entirely devoted to the genre in the capital, after the Photographers’ Gallery. The Victoria and Albert Museum is also expanding its photography space for the controversial transfer of 400,000 items from the National Media Museum in Bradford while Tate Modern has been improving its holdings after decades when, in contrast to countries such as France, British institutions were slightly contemptuous of photography as an art form.
The new museum will be run by Fotografiska, a centre for contemporary photography in Stockholm, and will occupy 89,000 sq ft of the White Chapel Building in east London. Tommy Ronngren, Fotografiska chairman, said it had been searching for suitable facilities in London, “one of the world’s most dynamic cities” for photography, for a long time.
The transfer of the Royal Photographic Society’s collection to the V&A was criticised for reinforcing the way London dominates Britain’s art world.