Editorial & Business
Charleroi and his museum of photography
In 1987, the Museum of Photography settled into its new location in a renovated neo-gothic Carmelite monastery, at the helm of Georges Vercheval, now its honorary Director, along with the support of the Contemporary Art Center of the French community Wallonie-Brussels.
With the addition of a new wing in 2008, Xavier Canonne, it’s current director, is at the head of Europe’s largest museum of photography. Counting almost 2500 square meters of exhibition space, it can house three programs simultaneously with a rhythm of nine exhibitions per year. A part of these exhibitions is dedicated to the discovery of the museum’s archives. They are comprised of 80,000 prints and three million negatives, of some of the most celebrated photographers to local photographers and even many anonymous images. How to get there, how to show everything ? – a significant amount of staff are dedicated to this. And this is in fact one of the goals of this new catalogue that announces on its cover in color the title with a double meaning « Image(s) of a collection. »
Its 300 photos give an overview of the collection and the history of its formation. But most importantly, of its composition: a veritable history of photography covering not only the period from 1840 to the present day, but also numerous historic documents.
The Museum does not stop at conserving and compiling: it has also given itself an educational and pedagogic mission. Its rich library of more than 10,000 titles is accessible to students and researchers, as well as anyone passionate about photography.
Xavier Canonne equally includes in his programming the commissioning of photographers. After Joel Meyerowitz and Dave Anderson in 2012, it is Bernard Plossu who will photograph Charleroi. This will be the theme of a future exhibition.
Image(s) of a collection
Museum of Photography of Charleroi
Fonds Mercator / Musée de Charleroi / Actes Sud