Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Friends of Photography

Harry Ransom Center Photography Collection

In addition to the world's first permanent photograph from nature, a heliograph by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, the collection features significant holdings of such notable early photographers as William Henry Fox Talbot, D. O. Hill and Robert Adamson, Roger Fenton, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, O. G. Rejlander, Henry Peach Robinson, Peter Henry Emerson, Paul Martin, and Christina Broom, among others. This range and diversity extends throughout the twentieth century with artists such as Alvin Langdon Coburn, E. O. Goldbeck, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Sir Cecil Beaton, Fritz Henle, Ruth Robertson, Eliot Elisofon, Arnold Newman, and David Douglas Duncan. With strengths in the history of photography and the development of the medium, in photojournalism and documentary photography, and in photographer's archives, the collection illuminates the creative process of artists in the field.

Tour group

Roy Flukinger, Senior Curator of Photography, leads a discussion on the work of mid-century photographer, Fritz Henle, in the gallery.

Harry Ransom Center members enjoy insider access and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the cultural wonders we preserve for the future. We offer members invitations to exhibition openings and exclusive events; private exhibition and collection tours; valet parking at select events; and the latest news of acquisitions, programs, and more.

Ransom Center members with a special interest in the Center's photography collections are invited to join the Friends of Photography by making an additional annual gift to the Friends of Photography Acquisitions Endowment. This contribution supports the purchase of new works for the collection. We invite you to join today to experience all that the Ransom Center has to offer.


Exclusive programs, events, and special communications enable participants to deepen their involvement with the photography collection and curatorial staff.

Platinum benefits, plus:
  • $25,000 donation to the Friends of Photography Acquisitions Endowment
  • Collector's Circle members receive an invitation to attend the annual Collector's Circle dinner to view new photographic works purchased by the Friends of Photography Acquisitions Endowment. Benefits are awarded for life in appreciation of a single gift of $25,000 or more.

PLATINUM ($2,500)
Palladium benefits, plus:
  • $2,500 donation to the Friends of Photography Acquisitions Endowment
  • Invitation for two, plus two complimentary tickets for the annual Photography Studio and Gallery Walk

PALLADIUM ($1,000)
Silver benefits, plus:
  • $1,000 donation to the Friends of Photography Acquisitions Endowment
  • Opportunities to consult with photography curators about your personal collections or a favorite collection item
  • Invitation to Behind-the-Scenes Curator Talks in the fall and spring each year

SILVER ($300)
  • $300 donation to the Friends of Photography Acquisitions Endowment
  • Programs and events with curators, photographers, collectors, and scholars
  • Private curator-led tours of photography exhibitions
  • Invitation for two to the annual Friends of Photography acquisitions reception
  • Access to an exclusive Friends of Photography members-only webpage
  • Discounts on Ransom Center photography collection publications

Ransom Center Photography Collection in the News


"The First Photograph On Display"
March 25, 2010

NPR's The Picture Show highlights the Ransom Center's exhibition, Discovering the language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection, which includes the First Photograph by Joseph Nicephore Niepce's View from the Window at Le Gras.


Wall Street Journal
"A Magnum Opus for Ransom"
March 25, 2010

Wall Street Journal reporter Anne S. Lewis profiles Ransom Center Director Tom Staley and highlights the arrival of the Magnum photography archive at the Center.


"Iconic Magnum Photos Find A New Home"
February 16, 2010

NPR's All Things Considered reported on the Ransom Center's housing of the Magnum Photos collection: "perhaps the most monumental acquisition in photo history." According to the report, "Magnum's photography is often described in one word, iconic: that National Geographic cover of the Afghan girl with bright green eyes; James Dean walking through a rainy Times Square, hands thrust in his pockets; Martin Luther King sweating as he delivers his 'I Have a Dream' speech; D-Day landings, Marilyn Monroe, the Civil Rights Movement; photos by Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, Elliott Erwitt."


New York Times
"News Photos, on the Move, Make News"
February 1, 2010

The New York Times covers the Ransom Center's housing of the Magnum Photos cooperative's collection: "It is one of the most important photography archives of the 20th century, consisting of more than 180,000 images known as press prints, the kind of prints once made by the collective to circulate to magazines and newspapers." The article quotes Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley as saying, "It catches so many of the world's great photojournalists in one fell swoop. These were the best of the best in their field. We want to make it a research collection. We want to bring scholars in to work in it, time and time again."


American Photo
"Ransom Center Acquires Arnold Newman Archive"
September 19, 2006

American Photo highlights the significance of photographer Arnold Newman's archive. The article quotes Director Thomas F. Staley as saying, "With this acquisition we add to our collections not only the works and papers of a renowned photographer, but also important, revealing images of many of the 20th century's most celebrated figures in culture, science and politics."


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Inside the Harry Ransom Center

Take an insider's look into the manuscript, rare book, film, performing arts, and photography collections at the Ransom Center.

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For more information on membership in Friends of Photography, please contact Margie Rine at 512-471-9643 or margierine@austin.utexas.edu.