Aperture: A History of Photobook Firsts

Join us for an online curator-led conversation with Lesley A. Martin, Editor at Large of Aperture – one of the longest-running publishing houses devoted exclusively to photography and the photobook.

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Online

  • Free event

Past Event
Aperture: A History of Photobook Firsts photo

Created in 1952 by photographers and writers as “common ground for the advancement of photography,” Aperture today is a multi-platform publisher and centre for the photo community. This discussion will explore Aperture’s illustrious 70-year history, with a particular focus on publishing ‘First Books’ – an artist’s initial foray into photobook making. Aperture supports the discovery and support of emerging talent through both its eponymous quarterly magazine and in the publishing over 700 photographic titles, many of them an artist’s ‘first’—including Nan Goldin’s iconic ‘The Ballard of Sexual Dependency’ (1986) and ‘Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph’, published posthumously in 1972.

Aperture are the first invited guests to curate the V&A’s new browsing library, situated in The Kusuma Gallery, a new space within the Photography Centre dedicated to celebrating the relationship between photography and the book. Against the backdrop of the extensive Royal Photography Society Library, a browsing library offers all visitors the chance to read and handle a small selection of books. Aperture’s curation, led by Martin, features a series of ‘firsts’, featuring first-time artist monographs from Aperture’s historic and contemporary collection.

Review the Aperture First Books in The Kusuma Gallery (Gallery 98) until 3rd November 2023.

Produced in partnership with the V&A Parasol Foundation Women in Photography project and Aperture Foundation.

Please note this event is hosted online only.