By Belinda Hungerford
The Australian Centre for Photography is currently celebrating its fortieth year. Founded in 1973 by photographers David Moore and Wesley Stacey with a grant from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council, the first exhibition opened to the public on 21 November 1974.
Since then ACP has had over 650 exhibitions and shown the work of more than 2500 photographers and artists working with photography.
ACP holds a unique position in Australia as the oldest, continually running centre dedicated to promoting photography through exhibition, education and publication. Even on the world stage we were one of the earliest photographic centres established. Current research puts us seventh after George Eastman House (Rochester, USA), the Finnish Museum of Photography (Helsinki), The Photographers’ Gallery (London), Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego), Brummels Gallery of Photography (Melbourne) and California Museum of Photography.
Former director of ACP, Kon Gouriotis, recognised the importance of ACP’s history and encouraged an investigation into the archives. Last year ACP received a Community Heritage Grant to complete a Significance Assessment on the archives. This assessment will identify items of national significance and confirm the importance of the knowledge ACP holds of photography in Australia over the last four decades. This is the first step in developing the archives to become an accessible resource for all.
Through this blog I will be sharing the treasures that are to be found within the archives. Taking trips down memory lane, posting images of exhibitions, revealing artists insights gleaned from their letters and correspondence and who knows what else!
Image © David Moore holding the cheque from Australia Council which established the Australian Centre for Photography in 1973. © David Moore Photography Archive