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National Photography Prize

MAMA is home to the National Photography Prize, Australia's longest running acquisitive photographic award. Inaugurated in 1983, the Prize has been instrumental in building the Museum's reputation as a committed collector of contemporary photography, and an investor in progressive, experimental photographic practice.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2026 National Photography Prize open mid 2025. Keep up to date with MAMA News for the announcement of finalists later this year.

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 Foyer Hero_Danica Chappell, Thickness of Time, 2018, MAMA, Photo Jeremy Weihrauch.jpg

The Prize

Every two years the National Photography Prize offers an opportunity to consider the vital role of photography in contemporary art in Australia. The National Photography Prize brings together artists from across Australia who are developing and challenging photographic language and techniques.

Generously supported by the MAMA Art Foundation, the National Photography Prize offers a $30,000 acquisitive first prize, the $5000 John and Margaret Baker Fellowship for an emerging practitioner, and further supports a number of artists through focused acquisitions.


The Prize provides a forum for artists working with photography to present cohesive selections of work, or works in series, offering a depth of critical reflection that recognises the complexities and nuances of the history of the photograph and its contemporary manifestation.

In consideration of the medium's fluid history, the National Photography Prize encourages artists working across all areas of the photographic field to enter. This includes artists working in traditional forms of light based, chemical production through to those dealing with hybrid and expanded fields of photography and image making.


The National Photography Prize exhibition features all Prize finalists as well as a rich public program of artist talks, workshops, and kids activities.

Current & Past Exhibitions