David Hurn

National Museum Wales Acquires Magnum Photographer David Hurn’s Collection

Documentary photographer David Hurn has gifted approximately fifteen hundred of his own photographs—which span his sixty-year career—and seven hundred photographs from his private collection to Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum Wales.

“This exceptional donation by David Hurn will raise the profile of Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum Wales as an important center for photography in the UK,” director general David Anderson said. “We know that photography appeals to our visitors and the exhibition in September launches the museum’s first ever permanent gallery dedicated to photography.”

Hurn has amassed most of his private collection by swapping works with fellow photographers, including many of his Magnum colleagues. His diverse collection includes the work of leading twentieth- and twenty-first-century photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, Sergio Larrain, Bill Brandt, Martine Franck, Bruce Davidson, and Martin Parr, as well as emerging photographers including Bieke Depoorter, Clementine Schneidermann, and Diana Marksman.

His own archive of work includes images made in Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, Arizona, California, and New York, as well as some of his most celebrated photographs, featuring Queen Charlotte’s Ball, shots from the 1967 film Barbarella, and Grosvenor Square. National Museum Wales now has the largest holdings of Hurn’s work worldwide.

Reflecting on his experiences at the museum, David Hurn said, “My earliest visual/cultural memories are visiting the museum when I must have been four or five. I remember the naughty statue—Rodin’s The Kiss, 1889—and cases full of stuff that people had donated. Well now I have the chance to repay, something of mine will be there forever, I feel very privileged.”