Yesterday, Tuesday September 12, Arles-based LUMA Foundation and British Tate museum jointly announced a resounding news. The two institutions are partnering to acquire Martin Parr's book collection. The famous photographer, a member of the Magnum Photos agency, partly bequeathed his collection to the Tate, while at the same time, the British institution acquired the second part, made possibly by financial and logistical support from LUMA Foundation.
The British photographer wanted his collection to remain in Britain. "I have always wanted my collection of photographic books to be part of a British institution. Tate's recent commitment to photography made things easier for me", he said. The photographer is also pleased to see his collection takes foot on the soil of Arles, where it has been many times celebrated: "I am also very happy, thanks to Maja Hoffmann and LUMA, that the phenomenon of the book of photographs touches the city of Arles.
More than 12,000 books join the collections of the Tate, that includes historical books of photography, books of authors, critical works, essays, canonical series, portfolios, amateur works etc.
A selection of the works will be shown among Tate exhibitions rooms soon. A complete catalog will be presented in the Tate Reading Room and at the LUMA Foundation. This collection will be "permanently welcomed to the Tate but one third of the books will be presented in Arles, in the Program of Living Archives", recently created.
This acquisition is the result of joint work initiated by both institutions in 2011.