Photography Then: Reflections of the Recent Past


exhibition Details

Conceived in response to the Gallery’s international exhibition, Civilisation, Photography, Now, this cabinet display features items from the E H McCormick Research Library’s six photographic archives.

In contrast with historic photographs, which can seem nostalgic repositories of the past, the selection here is recent enough to offer the viewer an active role in their status as cultural and social memory resources. We engage with the subject matter – identifying the people and places, for example, and considering our relation to them.

The six collections these items are drawn from vary greatly, including by size, from thousands of items to fewer than a hundred, by who created them, sometimes artists, sometimes organisations, and by media type – slides, prints, negatives, photo albums and so on. As much as they differ there are also connections. For example, Harvey Benge and John B Turner were founding members of PhotoForum, and Marti Friedlander photographed the latter’s workshops.


Image credit:

Real Pictures Gallery Installation: Real Pictures Archive, E H McCormick Research Library, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Douglas Owen, 1996

Research Library Display Case Mezzanine level