Mini-Flood 10: International Photography Hall of Fame


photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis

The International Photography Hall of Fame has moved to St. Louis, and the iconic, 48-year old institution is now open. Begun in Chicago, the Museum houses more than 30,000 prints and 6,000 pieces of historically significant photographic equipment. Photo Flood Saint Louis was graciously invited to photograph the Museum before it opened to the public.


photograph by Amanda Krebel


photograph by Jason Gray


photograph by Ann Aurbach


photograph by Kara Schoen


photograph by Jason Gray

St. Louis has a long and storied history with regard to photography, spanning from the work of famed daguerreotypist, Thomas Easterly, to the contemporary kallitypes of Yvette Drury Dubinsky. It is a great fit then that the International Photography Hall of Fame should relocate here.

St. Louis Public Radio’s interview with IPHF’s Executive Director, John Nagel:


photograph by Jason Gray


photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis


photograph by Ann Aurbach

Began in 1965, as the Photographic Art and Science Foundation, the institution compiled a modest collection of prints and antique cameras while still located in Chicago (alongside its founding organization, the Professional Photographers of America). The Brooks Institute of Photography offered the opportunity for public exposure to the expanding collection, and so the Foundation moved to Santa Barbara, California in 1977. By 1985, the since renamed, International Photography Hall of Fame, had outgrown the facilities offered by Brooks, and sought out a larger space at the Science Museum Oklahoma, in Oklahoma City. Today, the International Photography Hall of Fame boasts an impressive collection of 30,000 prints and 6,000 historic objects (of or relating to photography). Its decision to move again was precipitated by a transition in focus for the Science Museum in OKC, which left apparent little room for housing an important art collection.


photograph by Jason Gray


photograph by Ann Aurbach


photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis


photograph by Jason Gray


photograph by Captured N Time


photograph by Ann Aurbach

Video by Hannah Radcliff of the IPHF collection unloading in St. Louis:

Our visit to the about to open Museum unveiled a novel marriage of thoughtful renovation (to a historical building) and clever exhibition design. The space emphasizes strong lines bisecting a rectilinear orientation that lead the visitor up from the lobby and then guide them through the Museum. This design feature also serves to create areas of distinction, despite the mostly wide open layout, enabling unrelated bodies of work to be on display simultaneously. Certainly though, most of the focus is on the artwork, and the ceiling, floors, and walls all fall away to the viewing experience, which is very well handled.

On display during our visit was an exhibition entitled, The Past, Present and Future of Nature Photography (October 4, 2013-January 25, 2014). This exhibition included exquisite color work from the IPHF Inductee, Peter Dombrovskis, as well as images by Missouri resident, Nappadol Paothong, and photographs lent by the National Geographic Young Explorers and the North American Nature Photography Association High School Scholarship Students. Additionally, several images by other International Hall of Fame Inductees, including Ansel Adams, Eadweard Muybridge, and Yousuf Karsh, were on view. The Museum is the only such institution in the world to recognize the significant contributions of image-makers in a dedicated Hall of Fame. Currently, IPHF honors nearly 70 photographers, inventors and other persons with this distinction. Some of the names not previously listed include a veritable “who’s who” in photography, ranging from Eugene Atget to Minor White, Manuel Alvarez Bravo to Diane Arbus, and Bill Brandt to Roger Fenton. A collection of this depth and breadth does not often come newly to any city, even one as culturally rich as St. Louis. However, the International Photography Hall of Fame is not merely an exhibiting venture; it exists as an educational and social platform too. In fact, its mission statement outlines many focuses: “To educate the public about photographic history, preserve historical items and images, and honor significant contributors to the evolution of the art and science of photographic imaging.”


photograph by Kara Schoen


photograph by Jason Gray


photograph by Captured N Time


photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis

Welcome to STL, IPHF, Photo Flood Saint Louis and the larger photographic community of the region are very pleased to have you here!


photograph by Jason Gray


  1. Kathy L. Bradley 11 years ago

    Dear Photo Flood Saint Louis,

    We were delighted that you could stop by the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum for your latest Photo Flood. The IPHF’s mission is to preserve, promote and educate on the history of photography and we hope that you will consider the IPHF a valuable photographic resource.

    We are excited to now be located in the heart of the Grand Center Arts District in St. Louis, Missouri and I hope that you will come back and visit us often for more inspiration. The images look amazing!


    Kathy L. Bradley
    Director of Operations
    International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum

    • Jason Gray 11 years ago

      Thank you for the kind words, Kathy!

      It was a true joy to visit, and to learn all of the wonderful things that your Museum is doing. I’m certain that many of us in Photo Flood Saint Louis will be stopping by again soon.

      Thanks again for this great opportunity!


  2. […] As I reported last January, the International Photography Hall of Fame has made its way to St. Louis, and its Grand Opening was last Friday. This excellent Museum houses over 30,000 photographic prints, from the likes of Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Man Ray, and stores over 6,000 historically significant objects relating to photography (including a veritable “in the flesh” history of the camera). The Museum allowed Photo Flood Saint Louis to take a behind the scenes peek before the public, and those images are published here. […]

  3. […] at 7p. Photo Flood Saint Louis is being featured on the program State of the Arts, alongside the International Photography Hall of Fame. Please check your local listings for channel information (it’s channel 2.2 in STL – […]

  4. […] Photo Flood Saint Louis, is being featured on the program State of the Arts, alongside the new International Photography Hall of Fame. This is my first televised interview, and I am pretty excited about it. I will post a link to view […]

  5. […] In addition to theaters, Grand Center is home to 12 museums, including the newly opened, International Photography Hall of Fame, several music/performance venues, like Powell Hall, home of the magnificent St. Louis Symphony, […]

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