The photography collection, initially displayed in the Gallery of Prints and Drawings naturally found its place in Strasbourg's Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art. It is mainly composed of two large collections:
The Charles Winter collection (1821-1904), donated by his daughter in the 20's, contains many remarkable works. For Alsatians, this native photographer of Strasbourg is first and foremost the city's photographer, the one who inventoried street furniture before it disappeared or was forever transformed. Though he was also the author of such images as the daguerreotype of his own workshop's interior or workers on the railroad bridge of the Rhine, which have moved beyond regional frontiers and are now considered major works of the history of photography worldwide.
The second large collection is that of Strasbourg's photographer Jacqueline Rau (1901-1994), of Swiss origin, who donated her entire work to MAMCS in 1992. She was a self-taught photographer, in the tradition of those participating in the visual revolution of the 30's. Her photos find their place next to other artists like Laure Albin-Guillot (1879-1962), whose work also figures in the collection.
Content enhanced by 20th century collections
At the turn of the 19th century, a major collection of works by photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), Animal Locomotion, introduced a break with 19th century photography and initiated a new visual approach culminating a short time later with emerging movements such as Futurism, Cubism, Abstraction and Surrealism.
The earlier part of the 20th century is represented locally by Jules Arnold (1887-1958) who produced work in the tradition of the Pictorialist movement through the use of diverse techniques such as gum bichromate. These images were shown at the 1906 photography exhibition at the Rohan Palace. Though the most important works of this esthetic movement remain Constant Puyo's photographs (1854-1933), ring leader and theoretician of the Pictorialist movement.
Since the MAMCS opening in 1998 contemporary acquisitions have allowed the compilation of a collection of young artists (Laurence Demaison -born in 1965- or Yannick Demmerle-born in 1969) whose talents rank them alongside other, more confirmed artists like Joel-Peter Witkin (born 1939), paying homage to his illustrious predecessor, Charles Winter in one of his most important works, Winter's workshop.
Further acquisitions include the work of Patrick Bailly-Maître-Grand, (donation by the artist in 2001), Jean Luc Moulène, Pierre Molinier and Elina Brotherus. The contemporary collection continues to grow thanks to specific acquisitions of important works and numerous artist donations.