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International Center of Photography : ICP at 50 : From the Collection, 1845–2019


Celebrating the International Center of Photography’s 50th anniversary, ICP at 50 brings together over 150 works that highlight the institution’s expansive, deep, and idiosyncratic collection of photography and image culture.

Presented chronologically, the exhibition traces photography’s evolution through 50 years of collecting. Images made from the 1840s through the present span photojournalism, documentary, vernacular material, scientific and governmental imagery, fashion photography, protest posters, and contemporary art. Taken together, they challenge boundaries between technological, aesthetic, conceptual, and professional categories and emphasize the medium’s broad impact.

Founded in 1974 by photojournalist Cornell Capa as a home for “concerned photography”—his term for socially and politically minded images that can educate and change the world—ICP was the first museum, collection, and school in New York City dedicated exclusively to photography. While initially focused on photojournalism and documentary photography, the collection has since expanded to include imagemaking of all kinds that seek to have a social impact.

Inspired by Capa’s founding principles, ICP at 50 reflects the many ways artists, journalists, and everyday people have used photography to shape the world around us. Rather than present a definitive history of photography, or of ICP, the exhibition celebrates the medium’s ability to continually evolve while always reflecting the concerns of its time.

ICP at 50: From the Collection, 1845-2019, is curated by Elisabeth Sherman, ICP Senior Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections; Sara Ickow, ICP Senior Manager, Exhibitions and Collections; and Haley Kane, ICP Coordinator, Exhibitions and Collections.


ICP at 50: From the Collection, 1845–2019
Until May 6, 2024
International Center of Photography (ICP)
79 Essex St.
New York, NY 10002

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