Every year since 1977, International Museum Day has been organised worldwide with the object of raising awareness of the benefits that museums offer. The General Conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) describes museums as “an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding.”
Last year, more than 35,000 museums across 145 countries participated in the event and this year the theme will be ‘Museums and Cultural Landscapes’.
Here is a selection of must-see photography museums around the UK to get you inspired for your next photography themed trip – which could end up inspiring your next personalised canvas print.
National Media Museum, Bradford
At the National Media Museum, you will find the National Photography Collection that is best known as a collection of collections of world-class objects and images. The collections comprise of:
• Daily Herald Archive
• Royal Photographic Society Collection
• Kodak Museum Collection
The museum’s photography collection is perfect for those with a fascination for photography as it incorporates both aesthetic and technical developments including the earliest experiments in the field, to the world's first negative. There is also an appreciation for key images from the most influential photographers of our time.
V&A Museum, London
Acquiring photographs since 1852, the V&A Museum collection of photography is now one of the largest in the world. Its first director, Henry Cole, was an amateur photographer and became a strong advocate for the art.
The collection is international in scope and now has over 30,000 images to pour over dating from 1839 to the present day. It is a celebration of the advancements in photographic technology and skill and is sure to fuel your creative juices for your next project.
The Royal Photographic Society, Bath
With the Royal Photographic Society, you can travel the whole of the UK dropping into exhibitions on tour that pique your interest. The society exists to “promote photography and image-making and to support photographers in realising their potential, irrespective of their level of knowledge, equipment or skills.”
It celebrates the amateur photographer. With such an inclusive attitude, not only can you wonder at the beautiful images of others but you can also seize the opportunity to exhibit your own work with exhibitions and competitions for all styles of photographic practice and experience levels. You could be at an exhibition of your own work!
The print exhibitions tour the UK and overseas and cover “the world of extraordinary and remarkable scientific and artistic imagery.”
Are there any other museums you think we should add to our list? Where would you recommend for seeing the best in British photography?
Feeling inspired? Why not turn your photography passion into something that pays? We’ve got some great tips for getting you your first paid gig as a photographer.