Select Amount

History of the National Photography Prize

History of the National Photography Prize
Murray Art Museum Albury, 2016
Image by Murray Art Museum Albury

As the Museum prepared to unveil the finalists for the National Photography Prize 2016, this exhibition delved into the history of Australia's oldest photography prize.

In 1983, when the prize commenced, the decision to collect photography was progressive. At that time, photography was still on the cusp of gaining acknowledgment within the arts community as a true art form, and its value in public collections was uncertain.

The MAMA Art Foundation was firm in its resolve to support photography, and introduced the biennial National Photography Prize, through which it was able to make early acquisitions by renowned photographers Max Dupain, Richard Woldendorp, Phillip Quirk and Mark Strizic.

Over 90 works have been directly acquired through the National Photography Prize, and a further 350 photographic works have been acquired to strengthen MAMA's collection.

The History of the National Photography Prize exhibition showcased 40 of the 90 acquired works and demonstrate the breadth of MAMA's collection and the evolution of photography in Australia, from largely black and white and small scale documentary photography to in more recent years being large scale colour photography.

As the National Photography Prize continues to evolve and develop this retrospective exhibition was a timely aide-mémoire and celebration of MAMA as a nationally significant photography venue.