National photography museum in big shake-up

November 27, 2006

The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television has this morning pledged to ?strengthen its photography? despite changing its name to the ?National Media Museum?.

The museum, which is based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, next month changes its name in a move designed to embrace radio and the internet. In a statement, it said: ?The plan includes measures to maintain and strengthen the museum?s photography offer, including the inauguration of a chair of photography, a bursary scheme to support emerging contemporary photographers and setting up an acquisitions committee for photography, tasked to ensure that the national collection maintains its pre-eminence.?

The move will not hit job numbers, claimed a museum spokesman, who told us that its plans include ?enhancing and refreshing the permanent history of photography gallery?.

Outlining its new remit, the museum promised to ?continue its commitment to mount internationally important photography exhibitions?.

The museum is home to the Royal Photographic Society collection and the earliest surviving negative created by British photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot.

Commenting on the move ? which is backed by the government ? former BBC director general Greg Dyke said: ?Twenty-first century Britain needs a media museum. It needs something that reflects the importance in all our lives of TV, radio, film, photography ? and of course the internet.?

The museum?s head, Colin Philpott, said: ?As technologies converge and the lines between genres become blurred, we need to reflect this and be the window through which audiences can follow, understand and engage in those changes. The word that best defines this converging landscape is ?media? ? a word which has been devalued of late but which we want to claim back and restore to its rightful place at the centre of cultural life.?