Visitor Figures - Nigel Shafran


Shafran was commissioned in 2012 by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) to make photographs for its annual review. He made images in the public galleries but was also given free access to backstage areas, places often in the process of transition or refurbishment. He spent months familiarizing himself with the location, and made many more images than were required for, or would even fit into, the annual review. In the short time since the photographs were made, some of the locations have remained comfortingly recognizable but others have now been transformed into new galleries, offices or stores. Many of the ‘outtakes’ were just too good not to be seen. And so, a selection of prints was acquired for the Museum’s permanent collection and others are reproduced here.

When it opened in the 1850s, the Museum’s first director, Henry Cole stated: ‘This museum will be like a book that is open and not shut’. Shafran’s photographs evoke this sentiment. They are an invitation to delve in and an example of how the museum has continued to act as a source of creative inspiration.

Self-published, 2015
190 x 205 mm 

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