Collecting Contemporary Photography Symposium

  • When | Āhea Fri 11 Oct 2019, 10.00am–4.00pm
  • Where | Ki hea
    Te Papa
  • Cost | Te utu $50 waged, $40 unwaged
Book now

Join colleagues from across the museums, galleries, and archives sector at this one-day symposium to discuss sustainable approaches to collecting and caring for large volumes of work by art photographers.

As contemporary photographers consider the future of their archives, the institutions that collect their work face pressing questions:

  • Should institutions collect negatives, transparencies, and digital files when a photographer’s artistic output consists of prints derived from these?
  • If so, what status and use should apply to them? Should the institution be able to make prints from such source media?
  • What about images that were never considered worth exhibiting or publishing by the photographer? Can or should these be regarded differently from finished works once in an institution’s collection?
  • How can museums, galleries and libraries manage the potential volume of photographers’ archives? What trade-offs need to be made?
  • What documentation and preservation efforts are some photographers undertaking themselves?

Registration includes morning and afternoon tea, and lunch.

This is also an opportunity to view The New Photography – Life in the 60s and 70s, curated by Athol McCredie, before it closes 13 October.


  • David Alsop, Director of Suite Tirohanga, and agent for Ans Westra
  • Ron Brownson, Senior Curator, New Zealand and Pacific Art, Auckland Art Gallery | Toi o Tāmaki
  • Fiona Clark, independent photographer, Waitara
  • Shaun Higgins, Auckland War Memorial Museum | Tāmaki Paenga Hira 
  • Athol McCredie, Curator Photographs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Anna Petersen, Curator Photographs, Hocken Collections | Uare Taoka o Hākena
  • John Sullivan, Kaiārahi Ratonga Tiaki | Curatorial Services Leader, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand | Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa

Black and white photo of a man in a cafe, passes by look through the windows


Max West Wind retake, Havana Cafe,  2019. Photo by Max Oettli. Te Papa