World's Largest Camera Museum Is Located In Delhi's Gurugram
“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.”- Sally Mann
The earliest archived information on the birth of photography in India dates back to the period of the Indian Mutiny. A considerable amount of public interest was seen in Britain about India, which helped create a market for photographs about Indian culture and lifestyle at all while The East India Company also declared photography to be the most accurate and economical means of recording the architectural and archaeological monuments for official records. As such, something that started off as a government resource for information has today developed into a profound artform in itself--a medium through which we can truly understand the personal and collective history of our country better.
India has borne witness to several highly prominent state-of-the-art photographers such as Homai Vayarawala, Ragu Rai, Prabhuddha Dasgupta and Pablo Bartholomew who have managed to make a mark globally. Unfortunately, India’s art scene has left much to be desired, especially when it came to public spaces to showcase work. However, two individuals have remedied that by creating a one-of-a-kind camera museum as a worthy tribute to put Indian contributions to this medium on a global map.
Identified as ‘The Museo Camera-Centre of Photography,’ this museum is a collaboration between Aditya Arya and The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon and will be built in Chakkarpur, a small village in New Gurgaon.
Aditya Arya is an Indian photographer who is known for collecting, curating and archiving rare collections of photographs through the Aditya Arya Archive and the India Photo Archive Foundation of which he is the chairperson and trustee. Initially, Arya personally stored the camera memorabilia in his house but realised that he would soon have a space constraint. He currently has between 600 -700 models of cameras, both bought and donated in all sizes ,shapes and vintages. He has also acquired roughly about 800 original patents of cameras made between 1880 and 1890.
The museum will also display the evolution of cameras, various processes involved in photography as well as paraphernalia. Equipment such as camera obscura, daguerreotypes, dry plates, polaroid and digicams will also feature in the museum. In addition to this, Arya also wants the museum to double up as a learning space for amateurs in photography and anyone with a budding interest in photography. His prime focus is to conduct day tours, classes and workshops for government school children.
In a report to The Times Of India he says “The idea is to have an interactive space where kids can come, where we can engage with the local community, and photographers can hang around, reflect and read,”
The museum was inaugurated on August 19th to coincide with World Photograph Day. They believe that this could revolutionize the art scene with a focus on photography in India and would be the perfect gift to the country.
Words: Niketa Mohan Feature Image Courtesy: The Better India