Kicking off ICP's 50th anniversary year, ICP at 50: From the Collection, 1845–2019 is a thematic exploration of the many photographic processes that comprise the medium’s history, presenting works from ICP’s deep holdings of photography collected over 50 years since ICP was established in 1974. As a renowned NYC historical museum and one of the top photography galleries in NYC, the exhibition includes work from the 19th century to the present, featuring photographs by well-known artists that ICP has in-depth holdings of—such as Robert Capa, Weegee, Francesco Scavullo, and Gerda Taro among many others—as well as lesser-known and vernacular works and recent acquisitions including images by Jess T. Dugan, Nona Faustine, Deana Lawson, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Guanyu Xu. Other photographers featured include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Samuel Fosso, Robert Mapplethorpe, Susan Meiselas, Louise Lawler, Gordon Parks, Laurie Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, and more. The exhibition will also offer insight into the breadth and depth of ICP’s collection with historically critical images and media that include images taken of the surface of the moon by NASA in 1966, as well as activist posters from the 1980s and ‘90s groups ACT UP, Gran Fury, and fierce pussy.
ICP’s founder Cornell Capa created ICP in 1974 in honor of his brother Robert Capa, a preeminent photojournalist of his day, who died in 1954. Robert's archive became a key early piece of ICP’s collection, alongside work by other important photojournalists and documentarians. In the ensuing five decades, the collection has expanded to include early photographic works, vernacular images, fashion photography, and fine art photography among many other types of photographic production, leading ICP to become one of the many famous museums in NYC. Dissolving and challenging boundaries between categories—technological, aesthetic, conceptual, and beyond—the collection is a celebration of image culture and the medium’s ability to reflect the values and interests of its time.
ICP at 50 is not only a significant milestone for the institution but also stands as a must-see art exhibit in NYC. It's the first overview collections show since the institution’s move to 79 Essex Street in January 2020. The exhibition will reintroduce the depth and breadth of the ICP holdings to audiences, celebrating 50 years of photography’s evolution.