Simultaneously a museum, a cultural center, and a place for research and teaching, the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac holds a photography collection composed of more than 710 000 ancient and contemporary photographic pieces. The photography collections covers the whole geographic area represented by the museum, as well as the entire historical field of the medium, from 1842 to today.
In 2022, the program gets a new skin and becomes the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac Photography Award. The endowment is revalued up to 30 000 € for each project, for an annual selection of 3 laureates processed by an international jury, following a large call for applications.
Since it was launch in 2008, the program of Residences at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac has provided support for contemporary photographic creation. Each year, the museum funds the works of three laureates, selected on the basis of an original project, in coherence with their personal aesthetic path. It also supports the final production of a selection of images of these works towards their entry into the museum's collection. Focused on a demanding photography practice worldwide exercised and representative of one of the four continents represented in the museum's collections, the program is not limited to documentary practice and is open to extended forms of image production.
Since 2008, this support has revealed many talents and open the national collections to the whole world and its current creation. We can mention over the years the works of artists such as Sammy Baloji, Hugo Aveta, Che Onejoon and Lek Kiatsirikajorn (2012), Guy Tillim (2015), José Luis Cuevas (2017) and very recently Fatoumata Diabaté and Emilio de Azevedo (2020). In 14 years, the Photography Residencies have allowed 38 photographic series, or the equivalent of 555 prints, to integrate the national collections. This major collection constitutes baseline for the international contemporary creation, in such diverse aspects as ecology (137 Years, Zhao Renhui – Singapour), the migratory crisis (Cartographies of Escape, Luis Carlos Tovar – Colombia), the post-colonial memory (Imaginary Trip II, Gosette Lubondo – DRC), the deconstruction of the patriarchal model (La Etapa Bruja, Liza Ambrossio – Mexico) as well as the role of photography in the questioning of contemporary identity (Resident and Visitors, Brook Andrew – Australia).