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Dorothy Norman XXIV - Hands with Camera
Dorothy Norman XXIV - Hands with Camera, 1932
Alfred Stieglitz, American
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Focus: Friends of Photography

Focus expands the experience of photography. Whether you are a collector, artist, enthusiast, or admirer, Focus brings you together with others who share your love of photography. Celebrate our acclaimed collection of more than 33,000 photographs, while participating in engaging programs, conversations, and intellectual camaraderie throughout the year.

Members enjoy a dynamic slate of events, including exclusive access to private collections, artists, curators, lectures, talks, and receptions. Focus even shapes the museum’s collection—every December, Focus members vote on the use of contributions to acquire a work of photography at the annual Purchase Party.

Join Focus

Become a Focus Friend of Photography at the $500 level or a Focus Benefactor at $1,000. With a Focus membership, half of your gift will help fund the group’s activities and half will be directed toward annual purchases of art. As a Benefactor, 25% of your gift will help fund Focus activities and the remaining 75% will be directed toward annual purchases of works of art. Focus membership is available exclusively to museum members.

Select your museum membership level and add Focus under Enhancements.


Focus events include annual visits to the AIPAD New York Photography Show with Peter Barberie, the Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center; studio visits; and a Focus on Collectors speaker series.

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A Brief History of Our Collection of Photography

The museum’s distinguished collection of photography—which you support as a member of Focus—makes Philadelphia an internationally renowned center for the study and appreciation of this art form.

The year 1949 marked the start of our active collecting in this area, with sixty-nine works by Alfred Stieglitz accessioned from the artist’s own collection.

Over the decades, the collection has grown dramatically and now includes work by Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Frederick Evans, Robert Frank, Gilbert & George, Cindy Sherman, Minor White, and many other artists.

In 2001, the museum acquired a magnificent and virtually unknown cache of 2,500 photographs amassed by collector and gallerist Julien Levy. More than 130 artists are represented, among them Eugène Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Joseph Cornell, Man Ray, Lee Miller, and László Moholy-Nagy.

Another cornerstone of the collection is the print archive of American photographer and filmmaker Paul Strand. With nearly 4,000 works of art by Strand, we have become the world’s largest and most comprehensive repository of his oeuvre.

Focus members have the unparalleled opportunity to make a meaningful impact on our collection every year by voting on which work of art will be acquired next. We hope you will join us in shaping the future of photography at the museum.

For more information, please contact Development by phone at 215-684-7766 or by e-mail at .