Photographic relics displayed at the Science Museum

Photography exhibition Drawn by Light: The Royal Photographic Society Collection opens today at the Science Museum.

Science Museum Drawn by Light

Source: Kate Elliott

The collection, featuring material from the world’s oldest surviving photography society, includes more than 200 photos by photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Julia Margaret Cameron and Roger Fenton.

The Science Museum Design Studio created the exhibition graphics and marketing graphics, including room interpretation, title treatment and object labels, exhibition booklet and posters. Consultancy Drinkall Dean worked on the exhibition design and created the three dimensional elements of the show, including design, layout and hang of the photographs. 

Science Museum Drawn by Light

Source: Kate Elliott

Angela Drinkall, director at Drinkall Dean, says, “Our role was to come up with and develop the concept for the exhibition. This included the structure, pace, flow, colour, vista object hang, display and layout, all to support the narrative.”

Kristin Hibbs, head of design at the Science Museum, says that design was kept minimal so as not to distract from the exhibition content. “Drawn by Light is a celebration of treasures and each photograph tells a powerful story,” she says. “Our approach to design is quiet as we wanted to give our visitors an uninterrupted moment with each of them.”

Science Museum Drawn by Light

Source: Kate Elliott

“We created a simple datum line around the gallery for each photograph’s label, and a single, bold introduction for the three thematic rooms,” she says.

The National Media Museum also created interactive labels providing more detail on each photograph.

Science Museum Drawn by Light

Source: Kate Elliott

The lead artwork used in the marketing campaign is 1913 photograph Christina by Lieutenant Colonel Mervyn O’Gorman. “It is a striking image and the boldness of the colour produced by the autochrome really leaps off the page,” Hibbs says.

Many of the photos featured were part of the original Exhibition of the Photographic Society of London in 1858. The central room in Drawn by Light features a salon hang display of photographs – where the artwork is hung close to each other and in rows, covering the wall – bearing resemblance to the 1858 exhibition, Hibbs says.

Science Museum Drawn by Light

Source: Kate Elliott

The exhibition runs from 2 December 2014 – 1 March 2015 at Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD. Tickets are £8.

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