A not-for-profit photography museum in Gurugram, Haryana, that houses a collection of cameras, photographic equipment and ephemera from the seventeenth century on. It serves to showcase, through its collection, the long history of photography and its passage in India.
The museum was founded by photographer Aditya Arya in 2009, when he first began to display his collection of antique cameras and photography-related items in a rented basement in Gurugram. Following interest from the Gurugram Municipal Corporation, Arya set up a full-fledged museum to house his collections in an unused indoor badminton court 18,000 square feet, belonging to the Corporation. The building was designed with help from Gopika Chowfla of GCD Studio and architect Amit Gulati so that the exterior shell remained intact and the building costs were covered through crowd-funding campaigns. The expanded and refurbished museum, inaugurated on 28 August 2019, consists of a permanent display gallery, an exhibition space, a darkroom, studio spaces and workshop and conference rooms.
The collection comprises over 2,500 cameras and photographic equipment that had been collected by Arya for over forty years. The objects are chronologically displayed, providing also a historical narrative of the invention, development and trajectories of the photographic technologies and processes. The cameras on exhibit span the spectrum of technology and size, ranging from pinhole cameras to large-format cameras to contemporary digital single-lens reflex cameras, among many other pieces of photographic technology spanning two centuries, including projectors, light metres, enlargers and some rare daguerreotypes and tintypes.
In the fully-equipped darkroom, visitors can learn about and experiment with various techniques of developing and processing negatives and prints. The institute hosts various workshops and courses, through its educational wing, the Dhrish Academy. These include a foundational course on photography, mentored by the directors of Academy Aditya Arya and Dinesh Khanna,and others such as aesthetics of photography, mobile photography, cyanotypes and film and analog photography.
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