The Magnum Photos photographer has given his wonderful collection of his 1,500 personal prints and 700 private works to the National Museum of Wales, as announced by the American Illustration – American Photography magazine. The photographer acquired his collection by exchanging works with other photographers, thus avoiding the mercantile law of the art market. This idea nevertheless came to him in the 70s, when the market of photography was little or not developed. Some of his shots were recently seen at Photo London.
David Hurn recently told The Art Newspaper: “In 1959 there were no photography galleries in the UK; the first opened in 1968. The idea of photography as an art object that someone would buy was nonsense. I would simply ask people for pictures because they had no value; they were intended to be reproduced in magazines(…) When I started out [Henri] Cartier-Bresson didn’t sign his prints because they were meant for magazines. Now it seems the definition of art is whether something can be sold by a gallery. We live in a bizarre world.”
The photographer claims to have always found the word “donation” beautiful. In return, the National Museum of Wales will exhibit works from his collection as well as works from students of his school of photography founded in 1973 in Newport.
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