Visitors are invited to explore the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum, now open in the Grand Center Arts District in St. Louis.
The museum, which celebrates the art, science and history of photography, opened in a 6,000-square-foot gallery in Grand Center Oct. 4 after relocating from its previous location in Oklahoma City. The IPHF houses a permanent collection of antique cameras and prints and hosts exhibitions. The IPHF also inducts individuals who have made notable contributions to photography into its hall of fame.
“St. Louis boasts a powerful photographic community and stood out when the board of directors was researching cities to become IPHF's next home,” said Kathy Bradley, IPHF director of operations. “The St. Louis Camera Club is one of the largest and oldest in the nation and a very active chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers.”
IPHF houses thousands of photographs and work from more than 500 artists. Visitors can get a glimpse of 19th century photography equipment, like an Edison Projecting Kinetoscrope, and a wide range of 20th century devices, including Polaroids and Kodaks. They can also view work by notable photographers like Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and numerous others.
IPHF will host an open house for art educators from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, to help determine what specific interests or needs exist in the local art education community. The museum looks forward to serving as a resource for photographers of all ages and levels of experience.
“Teaching digital photography to children can be a creative and exciting activity that can benefit them in many ways,” Bradley said. “Looking at the world through a camera lens encourages children to be observant and view the world around them in a new perspective. By analyzing composition and looking at different subjects, your child will develop attentiveness to detail and find a variety of ways to express themselves.”
With cameras being found in phones, MP3 players, video games, tablets and toys, the joy of photography is easily accessible to artists of all ages. Bradley says the museum will help educate visitors on the evolution of technology that led to the iPhone, for example, but also hopes that it will inspire children to use that iPhone to create their own works of art.
“The digital age has also revolutionized the world of photography, in that any cheap digital camera, old camera phone, or hand-held computer can help children capture an image and look at it instantly,” Bradley said. “This is an affordable and user-friendly way to encourage your child to be creative. You don’t have to go far to find inspiration- the backyard, a playground, a hiking trail, or the zoo are all good places to encourage your child to photograph different things and document what they see around them.”
IPHF is currently hosting, “The Past, Present and Future of Natural Photography.” The exhibit, which will be on display through Jan. 25, 2014, features the work of nature photographers like Missouri Department of Conservation photojournalist Noppadol Paothong and images from the National Geographic Young Explorers and North American Nature Photography Association High School Scholarship Students.
“There is a vibrant arts scene in St. Louis, and the IPHF will be a complement to its neighboring institutions in Grand Center that work together to nourish both minds and spirits,” Bradley said.
The IPHF is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students with ID. Admission is free for children and IPHF members. The museum offers free admission and extended hours to all visitors during First Fridays at the Grand Center.
The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum is located at 3415 Olive St., St. Louis, 63103. Call 314-535-1999 or visit iphf.org for more information.