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Official: New Head of Photography for Science Museum Group

Renowned curator of photography Kate Bush is joining the Science Museum Group as Head of Photography.

She will lead an ambitious programme of photography exhibitions for Media Space at the Science Museum and the National Media Museum and the development of a major touring programme that brings the world-class National Photography Collection to a wider national and international audience.

Kate takes up the newly created role on 28 July. She was previously Head of Art Galleries at the Barbican Centre.

The announcement was made by Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, who said: “In luring Kate to our group of museums, we are uniting the most inspiring advocate for photography I’ve met with one of the greatest photography collections in the world. Media Space has made an excellent start in raising the profile of the National Photography Collection; the next step is to ensure our exhibitions become an integral part of the top league touring circuit.”

Building on the momentum of last year’s launch of Media Space, the new role will include forging strong relationships throughout the international photography community and securing key temporary exhibitions for the two museums in London and Bradford. It will also oversee an active acquisitions plan.

Kate Bush’s successes at the Barbican included Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s, which was shortlisted for Exhibition/Curator of the Year in the Lucie Awards for Photography, Los Angeles. She was also Chair of the judging panel for the 2014 Kraszna Krauz Foundation Book Awards and has judged several major prizes including the Turner Prize and the Hasselblad Award.

She said: “I am thrilled to be joining a museum with such an exciting and energetic vision for the future. This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to create a world-class programme of photography exhibitions in the beautiful new galleries in London, as well as Bradford and internationally. I can see tremendous scope in this role to develop new audiences and new approaches to the exhibition and study of photography. It’s an extraordinary collection which demands to be better known and I am looking forward to working with the teams to achieve that.”

Recent and upcoming photography highlights for the Science Museum Group include:

  • Joan Fontcuberta: Stranger Than Fiction opens in Media Space on 23 July and runs until 9 November, featuring six conceptually independent narratives which mix fact with fiction and science with art. It will then open in Bradford on 19th November.
  • The inaugural Media Space exhibition, Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr, was critically-acclaimed and welcomed 43,968 visitors in London before a successful run in Bradford which ended on 29 June.
  • Following the launch in Bradford on 30 January, the Science Museum will become the fourth venue within the Science Museum Group to host Open for Business, from 22 August – 2 November 2014. The story of British manufacturing and industry is told through the lens of nine Magnum photographers.
  • Masters of Light: Treasures from the Royal Photographic Society will open in Media Space on 2 December.

Comprising of approximately 3.2 million images, the National Photography Collection includes work by Julia Margaret Cameron, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Dorothea Lang, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Larry Burrows, Martin Parr, Paul Graham, Nick Knight and Luc Delahaye amongst others.

Image: © Jennie Hills / Science Museum

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