Coming soon: A one-of-its-kind camera museum in Gurgaon

  • Ruchika Garg, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 14, 2016 19:27 IST
Cameras made between 1880 and 1990 will be on the display at ‘The Museo Camera – Centre of Photography’ (India Photo Archive Foundation)

Devoted to the history of cameras, Gurgaon will soon have ‘The Museo Camera – Centre of Photography’, a museum just dedicated to cameras. There will be more than 700 cameras collected by photographer Aditya Arya over a period of 40 years, on display. In addition, there will be a photography exhibition at the museum to showcase the works of other photographers.

Vivek Kalia, Joint Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) says, “The museum will showcase cameras picked by Aditya Arya. We will also conduct photography classes, weekly exhibitions and competitions to promote art among youth.” He adds, “The museum will also provide details of the development of photography, from the pinhole and the camera obscura, to daguerreotypes and dry plates.”

Vintage century graphic from 1899. (India Photo Archive Foundation)

The museum is under construction at Chakkarpur Village, Gurgaon and is expected to open in November. Arya also runs a room size museum in his home at DLF Phase-2 to spread knowledge about evolution of cameras, but he finds the place really small because of his growing collection.

His treasure includes cameras of various shapes and sizes made between 1880 to 1990 with original patent. While some cameras in the collection were bought by him, others were donated to his existing museum which Arya, runs from his home in Gurgaon.

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Among these fascinating pieces, the museum will also feature cameras which were mounted on the bomber aircraft during attacks on Hiroshima. His major sources for these are the rag pickers and vintage camera sellers across the world.

He says,“Being a history student and photography enthusiast, I have always believed in in-depth research. I travelled a lot to understand how the camera evolved. It’s a craft and has instruments involved, so reading about them is not enough. I wanted to touch them and see how they look like to understand their functioning.” He adds, “We believe this new museum will be world’s largest with two photography galleries, one dark room, and a workshop area.”

Vageeswari camera from 1930. (India Photo Archive Foundation)

“My place is quite small, I get a lot of request from schools and colleges but only twelve to thirteen people could see the collection at one go. In the museum around 100 people will be able to see the collection at once. The whole idea is to establish a place where students can enjoy history,” says Arya adding “Over 70 per cent of the cameras on display are in working order or can be repaired.”

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