Telling the Story of Popular Photography: The Kodak Collection at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television

Activity: EventsConference

Description

This paper was given at the Royal Photographic Society, at a conference titled 'British Photography since 1972: a conference commemorating fifty years of the RPS Historical Group'

In 1985, the Kodak Museum, a company museum that had represented the history of photography at the Kodak Works in Harrow since 1927, was transferred to the newly established National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford. This paper explores the significance of this transfer and how the Kodak Museum’s broad spectrum of material, collected over fifty-seven years at Kodak was interpreted by the NMPFT to tell the story of popular photography. Opening in 1989, to coincide with 150 years of photography, the Kodak Museum in the NMPFT’s newly designed
permanent gallery space offered different perspectives on photography. It focused on photographic practices, utilising the Kodak Museum’s expansive technological, ephemera and advertising collections and connected these to audiences through social and cultural contexts, telling the story of popular photography.

Forming an important part of the NMPFT, now the National Science and Media Museum, the Kodak Gallery has shaped audiences understanding of photography for over thirty years, its longevity indicative of the continued role in offering important historical perspectives, despite the decline of analogue photography and industry leaders such as Kodak. This talk examines the ideas underpinning the Kodak Museum at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television and
considers how, by representing popular photography and industry leaders such as Kodak in the museum, audiences’ knowledge of photographic history was shaped.
Period1 Jul 2022
Event typeConference
LocationBristol, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational