08 Apr - 13 May 2020 18:30 - 20:00

Course: Introduction to Photographic Histories

All activities at The Photographers’ Gallery are suspended in the interests of public health and safety. Register your interest and we’ll let you know if we’re able to reformat/reschedule this course. Please see our FAQ page for up-to-date information on our temporary closure.

Explore the history of photography in this six-week course

Photography plays a prominent part in our contemporary lives, affecting many aspects of how we communicate and understand the world around us. This course will engage with artworks, critical texts, collections and exhibitions to introduce photography and its plural histories. Each session will explore the ways in which the photographic image has, since its invention, connected with broader artistic practices, visual culture and political discourses.

Topics include the role of photography in constructing identities of self and place, movements such as modernism and their legacies, documentary photography, and the diverse directions artists are taking photographic image-making today. Together we will engage with examples from different media and contexts, such as advertising and fashion, vernacular photography and photojournalism, as well as fine art photography and photobooks.

This course offers an introductory overview of the history of photography. While each week will be themed, the sessions will range across time periods and topics to show how they relate to contemporary issues. No prior knowledge needed.

Led by curator and art historian Briony Anne Carlin.


Briony Anne Carlin is an academic and curator based between London and Newcastle upon Tyne. She is a Doctoral Candidate at Newcastle University, where she also teaches Art Histories in the department of Fine Art. Her PhD thesis explores the material affect and social agency of contemporary photobooks.

Briony is currently an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and worked formerly as assistant curator of photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where she contributed to exhibitions including Into the Woods: Trees in Photography (2017) and the inaugural Photography Centre (2018), and conducted research with the Royal Photographic Society Collection and the Maurice Broomfield Archive. She continues to work on independent curatorial projects.

£200/£180 members & concessions. Ticket holders are able to access the gallery exhibitions on each day of the course.

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