The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London announced today that scholar and curator Duncan Forbes has been appointed its inaugural director of photography. In addition to leading the curatorial staff that runs the V&A’s photography program, Forbes will oversee the development of the V&A Photography Center, which is slated to open in 2022, and spearhead a major digitization and cataloguing initiative. He will take up the newly created role in April 2020.
Forbes comes to the V&A from the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. He previously served as director of the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland and as senior curator of photography at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. His recent curatorial and publishing projects include Provoke: Between Protest and Performance: Japanese Photography 1960–1975 (Steidl, 2016); Beastly/Tierisch (Spector Books, 2015); Manifeste! Eine andere Geschichte der Fotografie (Steidl, 2014); and Edith Tudor-Hart: In the Shadow of Tyranny (Hatje Cantz, 2013).
“I’m thrilled to be joining the V&A at such an exciting moment in the development of its photography holdings,” said Forbes. “The addition of the Royal Photographic Society collection in 2017 has lent further weight to what is already one of the world’s great photography collections. The challenge of bringing new histories to light in collaboration with partners around the world is a compelling one. I can’t wait to get started.”