(33) A General Survey of Photo Museums of the World

(33) A General Survey of Photo Museums of the World

Another month has gone by since the HOSOP team met. HOSOP - an acronym for "House of Something on Photography" they've started to use, is a shorter form to remember, an easier name to read. They have also decided to drop "The Little" from HOSOP to avoid the clumsy length. In today's meeting at the Bentos, George brought over a small Peepal tree, a stem cutting which he obtained from Fo Guang Shan, a buddhist temple in Mississauga. Both Bentos were very pleased, especially Mrs. Bento, who heard about the apple tree story George told them two years ago. During his Winter stay in Hong Kong, George grew the plant from a single apple seed. "All things start small, so is our HOSOP." she quietly thought.

Yoji and Bill arrived on time, George said Wandy hurt her ankle the day before so needed to rest. Mr. Bento had prepared a pot of genmaicha, a green tea combined with roasted brown rice usually served cold in the Summer. Mr. Bento prefers hot tea, and he's extremely happy with the new ceramic tea pot he bought at Marshalls - Japanese designed and Chinese made. He can boil tea directly on the electric stove top and the reheat is easy. He poured everyone a small cup and returned to the kitchen with the tea pot to boil more water.

"I've done a bit of research on the photo museums of the world," Bill said. He pulled out a pile of paper from his satchel and distributed to the team. The papers consisted of a lineup of photo museums of the world, listed alphabetically by country, about thirty four of them.

Austria Salzburg
Fotohof (1981)

Belgium Antwerp
Fotomuseum Antwerpen (1986)

Canada Ottawa
Canadian Photography Institute (1985, renamed 2016)

China Beijing
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre (2007)

France Paris
Jeu de Paume (1900s/2004)

Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (1996)

Albert Khan Museum (1990)

French Museum of Photography (1960)

Galerie de Photographies at Centre Pompidou (2014)

The Museum of Photography (1981)

Japan Tokyo
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (1995)

Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (1995)

Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City (1992)

The Museum of Photography, Seoul (2002)

Lebanon Beirut
Arab Image Foundation (1997)

Netherlands Rotterdam
Netherlands Photo Museum (1989)

Poland Krakow
Museum of History of Photography (1986)

Portugal Braga
Image Museum (1999)

The Portuguese Center of Photography (1997)

Russia Moscow
The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography (2010)

Fotomuseum Winterthur (1993)

UK London
The photographers' Gallery (1971)

Impressions Gallery (1972)

USA New York
International Center of Photography ICP (1974)

George Eastman Museum (1947)

Light Work (1973)

Staten Island
Alice Austen House (2016)

Museum of contemporary photography (1976)

Los Angeles
The Annenberg Space For Photography (2009)

Tucson Arizona
Center for Creative Photography (1975)

USA San Francisco
Pier 24 Photography (2010)

California Museum of photography (1973/2010)

National Geographic Museum (1963)

San Diego
Museum of Photographic Arts (1974)

West Palm Beach
Palm Beach Photographic Centre (1986)

"Vow, USA listed last but they have the largest number of photo museums in the world," exclaimed Mrs. Bento.

"Also the earliest - George Eastman Museum in 1947!" added Yoji.

"But Jeu de Paume - literally palm game in French, the famous rectangular building built in mid-17th century under the order of Napoleon III, which later was used to store Nazi Plunder, had held, in as early as 1909 the exhibition of One hundred portraits of women from the 18th-century English and French schools". Bill looked at the list and pointed out. "By 1991 it has become an archive and photography exhibition venue, and in 2004 it has developed into an important centre for photography and new media. An usual and long history."

"And I've found another institution, London's Royal Photographic Society, who had actually held the first ever exhibition of photographs in a museum - the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1858. RPS started to collect photography and it's technological devices formally from the mid-twenties. Since 2017…” Mr. Bento's index finger surfed swiftly on his newly acquired 13" Ipad as he spoke, "the huge collection has been transferred to the Victoria and Albert Museum, forming the now V&A Photography Centre. We’ve gotta to go there when we visit London next time…I can’t believe it, it must have been more than thirty years ago!” Using a red ball pen, he added V&A under UK in the museum list.

“And we ought to visit Palm Game too, since it’s only in Paris - one stone to kill two birds!” Mrs. Bento remarked. The Bentos had visited London and Paris in 1987, at that time they took an one-and-a-half hour night ferry across the English Channel. This time they would definitely use the Eurotunnel, which finished construction in 1994, just seven years after their crossing. The tunnel cuts short traveling time by an hour. Even though as little as an hour, Mrs. Bento thought it an important gain. They need to gather all these little gains to keep the candle burning longer, and brighter for their advancing years.

Back to blog