All posts tagged: RPS archive

The history behind Bradford’s loss of the Royal Photography Society archive to London’s V&A

The news that the Royal Photographic Society Collection is being transferred from the National Media Museum in Bradford to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London can easily fit into the narrative of unequal distribution of arts funding outside of London. The reasons for this are structural and historical. And this is the reason why photography has never had a secure place in our museums. It was in the late 19th century that some of our major museums where founded on the fault line defined by either the applied arts or the scientific. It was from The South Kensington Museum founded in 1857 – six years after the Great Exhibition – that the present Science Museum and the V&A would emerge, one taking the scientific and technology route and the other developing into an applied art museum. This is the fault line that still has to be negotiated today. You can see the new Media Space at the Science Museum as one way of dealing with this split with their mix of exhibitions displaying art and …


BJP Staff