Running 10am-5pm 5 July
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Museum of Contemporary Photography of Ireland
The Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dame Street, Dublin

Photography and the Museum:
Contradictory Histories and Contemporary Perspectives

Organised in collaboration with the research group Photography/Archives/Ireland, the symposium hosts a day of conversations with Photo-Historian Eléonore Challine, Alison Nordström (Senior Curator of Photographs at George Eastman House, 2004-2013), and Marco De Mutiis, currently digital curator for Fotomuseum Winterthur.

The status of Photography has been far from stable in the museum environment. Photography’s changing and varied technologies, its ubiquity and potential for reproduction, has made it difficult to contain within discrete institutional boundaries. The prioritisation of the artefact and the ‘unique’ original has historically troubled the place of photography in the art museum, yet photographs are an integral part of the ecosystem of many museums, making a significant contribution that was until lately both invisible and unacknowledged. What then of a contemporary museum conceived specifically for photography?

To mark the inauguration of the first Museum of Contemporary Photography of Ireland, this symposium brings together photographers, artists, curators and researchers for a series of conversations about photography and the museum. A museum of contemporary photography might offer new approaches and possibilities in relation to the place of photography in the museum, curatorial strategy and scope, policies of collecting, exhibiting practices and knowledge production.

These possibilities will be explored by speakers and respondents including: Eléonore Challine (University of Paris, Sorbonne-Pantheon), Alison Nordström (Independent Photography Curator, Boston) and Marco De Mutiis (Digital Curator, Fotomuseum Winterthur), Justin Carville (Lecturer, History and Theory of Photography, IADT), Niamh Ann Kelly (Lecturer in Contemporary Visual Culture, Technological University, Dublin), and Rachel O’Dwyer (School of Visual Culture, NCAD).

New Research on Photography and the Museum: Eléonore Challine (University of Paris, Sorbonne-Pantheon) with Justin Carville (Lecturer, History and Theory of Photography, IADT) as respondent


The Photography Curator’s Perspective: Alison Nordstrom (Independent Curator of Photographs & Museum Associate, Peabody Museum, Harvard University) with Niamh Ann Kelly (Lecturer in Contemporary Visual Culture, Technological University, Dublin) as respondent


New Situations for Photography in the Museum: Marco de Mutiis (Fotomuseum Winterthur) with Rachel O’Dwyer (Lecturer in Digital Cultures, NCAD) as respondent

Round-table discussion with participants joined by Ángel Luis González (Director, PhotoIreland Foundation)