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The National Media Museum, Bradford, have now issued a formal press release regarding Charlotte Cotton who is joining the museum in October 2009.

National Media Museum Appoints
Creative Director for London Galleries

The National Media Museum in Bradford has appointed Charlotte Cotton to its new role of Creative Director for its future London Galleries. Charlotte will be charged with delivering an exciting vision for the content of the Museum’s special exhibitions programme for its London presence, building on the strong reputation of exhibitions already staged at the Museum’s Bradford base. She will be driving an advocacy programme and helping with fundraising for the project, for which the Museum is currently awaiting government approval on its preferred venue in the Capital.

Charlotte is currently Head of the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the largest art museum in the Western United States. Before joining LACMA, Charlotte was a Curator of Photography at the V&A for 12 years and then Head of Programming at The Photographers’ Gallery in London. Charlotte will start working for the National Media Museum in October 2009.

Colin Philpott, Director of the National Media Museum, said: “We are delighted that Charlotte has chosen to further her career with the National Media Museum, working to build our brand in the short, medium and long-term through our programme of special exhibitions and to help us achieve our long-held ambition to establish a presence in London. Our home will remain in Bradford but having a presence in London will enable us to bring our exhibitions programme and items from our Collection to a wider audience.

Charlotte Cotton said: “The opportunity to play a leading role in the programming for the UK’s most important collections relating to photography, film and television and the conception of its London presence is absolutely thrilling for me. I am really looking forward to realising the most timely, pleasurable, and culturally nourishing experiences of both the collections and contemporary creative talents within the media realm.”

Whilst at LACMA, Charlotte has built the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography’s programme, visibility and relevance in the Californian photographic community as well as nationally in the States. The world class historical photography collection of Leonard and Marjorie Vernon was acquired during Charlotte’s tenure, a group of more than 3,500 prints forming one of the finest histories of photography and collections of masterworks from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Charlotte has led on creating a world class and locally relevant events programme at LACMA including debates, conversations, screenings, performances, commissions and publications.

During her career Charlotte has worked on an extensive body of exhibitions and publications. During her time at the V&A Charlotte developed a number of exhibitions and publications including Imperfect Beauty: The Making of Contemporary Fashion Photographs (2000), Stepping In and Out: Contemporary documentary photography (2001), and Guy Bourdin (2003). Charlotte has taught at universities and art colleges including as visiting professor at Yale University (2005/6) and visiting critic at SVA, New York; Art Institute, Chicago; Cranbrook College, Detroit; UCLA, Los Angeles; Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City.

Charlotte has written a number of books including The Photograph as Contemporary Art (2004), an extended and updated version of which will be re-published in September 2009. As well as numerous articles and essays. Charlotte was the founder of the discussion forum www.wordswithoutpictures.org, a summary of which has recently been published in print-on-demand form.

Last year the National Media Museum in Bradford attracted over 700,000 visitors with exhibitions including securing the only UK venue for Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Scrapbook, Photographs 1932-4, working with Hedy van Erp and Iris Sikking of the ICON Foundation on the exhibition Baby, Picturing the Ideal Human 1840s – Now and the Museum generated show; Live by the Lens. Die by the Lens: Film Stars and Photographers.

The Museum is home to the National Photography, Photographic Technology, Television and Cinematography Collections. The National Photography Collection contains key images by numerous influential historic and contemporary practitioners such as; Anna Atkins, Sir John Herschel, Martin Parr and Eve Arnold, and includes the earliest known surviving negative, which is part of the William Henry Fox Talbot Collection. The Museum also holds The Royal Photographic Society Collection, the Kodak Museum and the Daily Herald Archive.

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Comment by Pam Roberts on July 17, 2009 at 0:26
Great to have Charlotte herself - as well as all her enthusiasm, expertise, knowledge & passion for photography - back in the UK. We have missed her these last few years. I hope this new relationship with the NMeM works powerfully, positively, imaginatively, creatively and, hopefully, relatively smoothly for all concerned. Go for it girl!! Pam Roberts

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