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Andy Sewell, Untitled From The Series Known And Strange Things Pass, 2020 (C) Andy Sewell

V&A celebrates stranger things in photography

Museum explores how fact and fiction merge in an exhibition of more than 50 new acquisitions

‘Untitled’ from the series Known and Strange Things Pass, 2020, by Andy Sewell


The V&A in London was the first museum in the world to collect photographs, going right back to its foundation in 1852.

With the launch of its Photography Centre in 2018, it has offered a tailor-made platform to celebrate image-making, with four more gallery spaces to come in 2023.

Now the V&A is to explore the power of photography to transform the familiar into the unfamiliar and the ordinary into the extraordinary with a display the Sir Elton John and David Furnish Gallery from 6 November 2021.

Known and Strange: Photographs from the Collection will feature more than 50 recent contemporary acquisitions by established and emerging photographers including Zanele Muholi HonFRPS, Susan Meiselas HonFRPS, Andy Sewell, Tereza Zelenková and Maurizio Anzeri. The title Known and Strange, originally a line from the Seamus Heaney poem Postscript, is taken from a series of photographs by Sewell. 

Open your mind and enter known worlds and strange new worlds with our sneak preview.

Tereza Zelenkova, The Unseen, 2015 © Tereza Zelenkova

‘The unseen’, 2015, by Tereza Zelenková

Maurizio Anzeri, Lucy, 2018. (C) Maurizio Anzeri

‘Lucy’, 2018, by Maurizio Anzeri

Zanele Muholi, Bakhambile Skhosana, Natalspruit, 2010 From The Series Faces And Phases, 2007–10. (C) Zanele Muholi

‘Bakhambile Skhosana, Natalspruit’ from the series Faces and Phases, 2007-2010, by Zanele Muholi HonFRPS

Susan Meiselas, Lena On The Bally Box. Essex Junction, Vermont. 1973. © Susan Meiselas Magnum Photos Courtesy Danziger Gallery

‘Lena on the Bally Box, Essex Junction, Vermont’ from the series Carnival Strippers, 1972-1975, by Susan Meiselas HonFRPS / Magnum Photos / Danziger Gallery

Known and Strange: Photographs from the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 6 November 2021–6 November 2022.

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