Room 101 in the V&A has been refurbished and is now half of a space given over to the museum’s photography collection, and as of today, is being named the ‘The Sir Elton John and David Furnish Gallery’, following a large donation from the couple.
The V&A’s new Photography Centre opened with a display that explores photography as a way of ‘collecting the world’, from the medium’s invention in the 19th century to the present day.
It shows of early small photos right up to modern day massive portraits.
However, while the photos are of interest, what is rather lovely is how they’ve filled a few cases with the tools of the trade – the camera itself.
Early cameras were as much industrial tools as works of art, being a perfect blend of polished wood, leather and brass.
Even when brass was supplanted by steel, the industrial appearance remained intact.
Machines for capturing the moment.
The advent of mass production in plastics turned the machines into toys, and massively broadened the reach of photography as a hobby, but the displays of cameras in this gallery stops while cameras were industrial machines.
The gallery is an enjoyable space — look up at the ceilings — and the photos are worth seeing, but more so for some, are the collections of cameras.
The refurbishment also means this article about Room 101 is now incorrect.