Photography organization Aperture is moving into a historic building on the UWS

A historic building in the Upper West Side will become the new home for Aperture, the esteemed photography organization celebrating 70 years. Aperture will move from its location in Chelsea to a 10,000 square-foot space where initiatives will “demonstrate the power of photography to spark curiosity and enhance understanding of the world and each other.”

Set to open in summer 2024, Aperture’s new location at 380 Columbus Avenue will place it in a cultural core across from the American Museum of Natural History and blocks from the New-York Historical Society and Central Park. The organization’s leaders hope the strategic location will introduce a wider audience of locals and visitors to its photography work, calling the new space “a hub for collaboration and convening, and a site for public engagement with Aperture’s quarterly magazine, books, and prints.”

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The red brick 1886 building will house the kinds of programming Aperture has become known for in its seven decades: photography installations, artist talks, panel discussions, book signings and education programs centered around photography. The bookstore will also get prime positioning, as Aperture is recognized for publishing some of the most important photography books of the past several decades. Visitors will be able to see directly into several of Aperture’s work spaces as a way to foster transparency and unveil the organization’s work, thanks to a design by architects LEVENBETTS.

Aperture has long been an anchor for the photography community, not just in New York but globally.

“Aperture has long been an anchor for the photography community, not just in New York but globally,” Sarah Meister, Aperture’s executive director said in a press release. “Our permanent commitment to the Upper West Side and a highly visible ground floor space signals a renewed, long-term vision for Aperture’s future as we move into our eighth decade—one that recognizes Aperture’s critical role in fostering collaboration and bringing together the array of artists, writers, institutions, and enthusiasts that are transformed by photography every day.”

The announcement of a new home comes as Aperture celebrates 70 years. The nonprofit was founded in 1952 by photographers and writers as “common ground for the advancement of photography,” and it’s grown into a multiplatform publisher and center for the photography community.

Its 70th anniversary celebration will include a special anniversary issue of Aperture magazine, 70 limited-edition photographs available to collectors by some of the most celebrated and influential photographers in the history of the medium and a fall gala on Monday, October 17. You can see Aperture’s current exhibition “Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite” at the New-York Historical Society through January 16, 2023. 

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