The Photographers’ Gallery opens its doors today at its newly converted building in central London at 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, W1F 7LW.
Building on its heritage as one of the world’s leading organisations for the study and promotion of photography, this move highlights a key moment in its history.
Established in 1971, as the nation’s very first public gallery dedicated to photography, in two buildings, near Leicester Square; the Gallery has now moved to the other side of Soho at Ramillies Street, just off Great Marlborough Street.
The four-storey building at 16 – 18 Ramillies Street consists of three floors of public spaces with the fourth floor for offices. For the first time in its history the Gallery is united on a single site. The new layout ensures that the Gallery continues to develop all its activities of presenting a broad programme of exhibitions, talks & events and education projects.
The converted building now enables the Gallery to present its exhibitions on two dedicated floors. The celebration of Soho continues in the display Soho Nights, archive photography from the vibrant 1930s-1950s. The main gallery will be on a dedicated floor and the opening exhibition, The Westerns features large format portraits by the American artist Katy Grannan and marks her first UK show.
The integrated education and learning programme, can now take place on site on a dedicated day. By closing to the public on Mondays, the Gallery can welcome larger groups to discover and understand photography through this increased learning programme.
The conversion also allows for the expansion of Print Sales, a part of the Gallery dedicated to the promotion and sale of photography, on two separate floors. A curated display of photographs on the first floor, within the café and bookshop setting, continues the Gallery’s tradition of presenting photography in gallery and social environments. The opening display will be presented on the walls in the café floor and will feature contemporary portraiture by six emerging female photographers. On the third floor the Print Viewing Room enables visitors to browse portfolios in the company of knowledgeable experts encouraging the discovery of the best in photography.
The Photographers’ Gallery’s success over the past four decades has established photography as a recognised art form, introducing generations of visitors to important names in photography. This move is a new initiative, but one that builds on our longstanding legacy as the premier photography gallery in the UK. It ensures that The Photographers’ Gallery will be in the position to define photography to the world in the 21st century.