Photographers of museums, photographers and artists working in the shade?

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Marta Mérida

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Soon it will be 24 years since I started working in photographic department of Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.
During this time, I have dedicated oneself to take different photographs, always related with the needs of the museum: I have photographed the works for the register and catalogues; I have assisted to the process of work’s restoration to document them graphically.

General picture of an artwork. Motor Car, Ramon Casas

General picture of an artwork. Motor Car, Ramon Casas

Photo with Raking Light

Photo with Raking Light

But no only I have dedicated oneself to photograph the collection. Moreover, I have documented the different exhibitions during the assembly, once assembled and already opened to the public. And formal acts of the activity of a museum: inaugurations, press conferences, and signatures of conventions… And who was my customer when did this kind of photographs?: The press department and protocol. Those images were destined to the media and, therefore, were images that I did under command.

Santa Maria de Taüll

Santa Maria de Taüll

Opening of the exhibition devoted to Carles Casagemas

Opening of the exhibition devoted to Carles Casagemas

But not long ago, the arrival of the new technologies and the digital world, and the introduction of social media as a channel of communication have done that museum vision of the graphic information changes and, therefore, the nature and the criterion of the photographic requests that arrive me. Besides, It has changed the concept of the museum: activities, people are elements that form part of the life of the museum. Moreover, we have useful tools to reach all public and tell them what happens at the museum, showing them the making of and the protagonists of our daily. We want the museum to be seen as a living full space and movement!!! A stage where can get emotional and have fun learning and sharing.

 

What happens in the museum? A stage where you can learn, get emotional and have fun!

Conferences, theatre, music, shows, dance, cinema, familiar activities, animations in modern art…

Conferences at the museum rooms

Conferences at the museum rooms

Theatre

Theatre

Music

Music

Shows and dance

Shows and dance

Cinema

Cinema

Swing at the Oval Hall

Swing at the Oval Hall

Live music on the Podium

Live music on the Podium

Family activity in the Modern Art Collection

Family activity in the Modern Art Collection

Family activity in the Oval Hall

Family activity in the Oval Hall

The museum from inside…

Preparation and setting of exhibitions, unpacking of works of big format, technical studies and restoration of works of art, storage of the works to the reservations of the museum…

Preparation and setting of exhibitions

Preparation and setting of exhibitions

Unpacking of big format artworks

Unpacking of big format artworks

Setting exhibitions

Setting exhibitions

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Artworks restoration

Artworks restoration

Technical studies of the artworks

Technical studies of the artworks

The storerooms of the museum

The storerooms of the museum

Author photography…

After I have said to you, maybe you think that I take photos without soul, photos always under command but I have the big luck that I can develop my creative side while I doing my work. Like all the photographers, when I look, always I do it as it was through the viewfinder of a photographic camera. And for me, as a lover of art, architecture and geometrical shapes, the museum is a full space of possibilities that appear to me in each corner.

Precisely because of that, when I am doing a report, I can not avoid photographing things that I like in those moments, with my vision. They are not photos done with the intention of document any activity or to be published. But I see that these photos done on my own way, that day-to-day without looking for them, these photographs become the ones that more like, thing that satisfies me.

They were photographs for me so far and now they begin to be of and for all!!!

Photographs of the artworks…

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Architecture…

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Moments of the museum…

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And spontaneuous and funny moments with my colleague!

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…And, from time to time, I find somebody disposed to take photos instead of me

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Marta Mérida
Fotògrafa

One comment

  • Amy Snyder
    19 de March de 2016 - 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Hello Marta.

    I love your blog post. My name is Amy Snyder and I am the director of photography at the the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco, California. We are an interactive museum of science, art and human perception. I have been working here for over 20 years and enjoy the variety of work here. If you are ever in San Francisco, please stop by and say hello. Also, we have started a group of museum photographers in the area called the San Francisco Image Guild. Do you know other museum photographers in Europe?

    Thank you for your blog post on the merits of being a museum photographer. I’d love to be in touch.
    Amy

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