FRAGILE BEAUTY: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE SIR ELTON JOHN AND DAVID FURNISH COLLECTION. VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM

An unparalleled selection of the world’s leading photographers, telling the story of modern and contemporary photography. Discover iconic images across subjects such as fashion, celebrity, reportage and the male body.

The V&A began acquiring photographs in 1852, and its collection is now one of the largest and most important in the world.

The history of the photography collection in the V&A is closely connected with the development of the Museum as a whole. Its first director, Henry Cole, was an amateur photographer himself and a great supporter of the art of photography. He began a photography collection in 1856, the year that the South Kensington Museum, now the V&A, was established. Since then, the collection has grown to be international in scope and comprises over 800,000 photographs dating from 1839 to the present. Photography can be seen as a combination of science and art, in which advances in technique continually feed creativity and artistic achievement.

https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/photographs

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