Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

July 7, 1994

Library of Congress Selected for 1993-95 International Partnership Award

The Library of Congress has been selected to receive a 1993- 95 International Partnership Among Museums (IPAM) award by the American Association of Museums (AAM) to undertake an exchange with the Royal Photographic Society, Bath, England.

The goal of the IPAM program--which has been in existence for fourteen years--is to establish mutually beneficial and sustainable linkages between U.S. and non-U.S, museums with similar missions. IPAM is intended to promote institutional development while enhancing the participating museums' ability to enrich their own communities.

"The Library of Congress and the Royal Photographic Society have played kindred roles in the field of photography, as early advocates of the importance of the medium as an expressive and historical tool," explains Stephen E. Ostrow, Chief, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. "The exchange between the Library and the Royal Photographic Society will foster a mutually beneficial and enduring relationship, lead to more informed future development of the two institutions' holdings in areas of common strength, and possibly to the development of publications and exhibitions of mutual interest."

Beginning in July, the Library of Congress and the Royal Photographic Society, Bath, England, two of the world's oldest and most distinguished collections of the medium of photography, will join in a collaborative effort focussing on the wider dissemination of the two institutions' important complementary holdings of photographs.

This effort will center on the photographs of F. Holland Day (1864-1933), a pioneer and leader in the international pictorialist (art) photography movement. Day, an American distinguished in both fine book publishing and art photography during the 1890s, had strong intellectual and personal ties to England. As a promoter of international recognition for photography as a fine art, he was the first to export the New American School to Europe. His landmark 1900 exhibition of over 400 objects, including a major retrospective exhibition of his own photographs, was first shown at the Royal Photographic Society in London and was an important moment in the Society's history. The Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Division and the Society hold the largest and most complete public collections of his work.

This summer the Library's Curator of Photography Verna Posever Curtis will spend a month at the Royal Photographic Society in Bath studying their F. Holland Day photographs. She will also research other important, commonly held and complementary photographic holdings. These include a large collection of work by English architectural photographer Frederick Evans, pioneer British war photographer Roger Fenton, early photographs of the Middle East, and American and British art and pictorialist photography.

Ms. Curtis's visit to England will be followed next spring by the Royal Photographic Society's curator Pamela Glasson Roberts's trip to Washington. Ms. Roberts will visit the Library's Prints & Photographs Division, which oversees its vast holdings of visual materials, including 12 million photographs gathered since the mid-nineteenth century.

The exchange between curators of these institutions will enable the two institutions to share valuable information and documentary materials. The curators will examine the feasibility of a joint publication of their F. Holland Day collections.

IPAM operates through the United States Information Agency (USIA) Office of Arts America as an international competition utilizing the network of USIA posts abroad to facilitate the application and communication process; the AAM administers the program. With the completion of this cycle, 101 partnerships, representing 50 countries and 32 American states plus the District of Columbia, will have been undertaken since the program began in 1980.

Funding for this round of IPAM program is provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the USIA, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and the AT&T Foundation.

The American Association of Museums is the national association for museums and museum professionals. Founded in 1906, AAM serves and represents more than 2,7000 institutions of all types, including history, art, natural history and science museums, zoos and botanical gardens, arboretums, children's museums, and historical museums, sites and societies. AAM's 9,100 individual members include museums directors, museum trustees and volunteers, and museum studies students. The 1,200 corporate members include companies, firms, and consultants who market to the museum community.

The United States Information Agency, an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch, explains and supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests abroad through a wise range of information programs. The Agency fosters mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through a series of educational and cultural exchange activities.

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PR 94-112
ISSN 0731-3527

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