Ten-Second Takeaway

Museo Camera, a vintage camera museum, showcases analogue cameras from over a century-long period, grown out of the personal collection of visual historian and celebrated photographer, Aditya Arya.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Curated With Care

Located in India Photo Archive’s headquarters in Gurgaon, the museum’s growing collection has over 1,000 cameras, ranging in origin from the 1880s to the 1990s. Started by Arya in 2009, the museum displays his personal collection {that he started in the 70s!} and is supplemented by regular gifts and donations.

The cameras come from all over the world and it is one of the single largest such collections in the country.

A Thousand Words Each

A collection of beautiful original prints commissioned by a British commander from the 1850s—India’s first large photo project—hangs right by the entrance. Photographs from the portfolio of Kulwant Roy during the 1940s adorn the walls. Arya, sitting with his legs crossed on a sofa, casually recalls the dates of the shots, and starts explaining the history behind the usage of a certain chemical in the film development process.

The man is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to photography and its history, and any trip to the museum would be incomplete without him {not to mention impossible, as you must set an appointment with him before you arrive}.

With gorgeous, bulky cameras sitting pretty on glass display cases {that are themselves packed to the brim with more recognisable cameras from the 70s and 80s}, a fascinating collection of original photos from the Partition-era and a knowledgeable, and friendly, collector-curator in Arya, Museo Camera is a must visit location for photographers – young and old, professional or amateur.

The Way Forward

By the end of this year, the museum is slated to get a massive facelift. Think 15,000 sq. ft., a dark room, an exhibit of contemporary shows, photography studios and archiving facilities.

Essentially conceptualised as a celebration of the history of the photography, the new-and-improved museum will pay tribute to the art of communicating through images. It will showcase the work of up-and-coming photographers, be equipped with a library and double-up as lecture halls for those willing to learn.

The Museo Camera and Centre For Photographic Arts will be the first-of-its-kind tribute to photography, helmed by Aditya and the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation. Stay tuned for more updates.

Photos courtesy: Aditya Keswani/LBB