The Institut is pleased to welcome its first photography archives: Bettina Rheims, Jean-Louis Schoellkopf and Agnès Varda.

These three photographic archives – the first to be housed at the Institut pour la photographie – reflect the diversity of the medium through their distinct aesthetic approaches, and its technical evolution from film to digital. More generally, these archives serve as an important resource for the critical study of our society from the 1940s to the present day. 

Alongside this, the Institut’s library will become one of the world’s ten leading centres for the history of photographic publishing, thanks to a pledged donation and the bequest of more than 25,000 books by a private collector. 

An exhibition of the archives of Bettina Rheims, Jean-Louis Schoellkopf and Agnès Varda is planned for October 2021. This will be the third exhibition programme of the Institut pour la photographie, and the last before it closes temporarily for renovation. 


The photographers’ archives will constitute the Institut’s main resource for the development of its four other fields of activity: artistic and cultural transmission and critical reading of the photographic image, exhibitions, editorial policy and support for research and creation.


All of these collections, preserved in their material and intellectual integrity, will benefit from specific material conservation treatments. The setting up of an internal inventory and reproduction service will ensure that they are more widely disseminated, in particular with a database accessible online.

As the Institut’s main object of study for understanding the challenges of photographic practice from the 1940s to the present day, they will be available for consultation. Exhibitions and publications will allow the research projects devoted to their study to be presented.