Aperture Announces its New Home

By Peggy Roalf   Friday September 16, 2022

In conjunction with its 70th anniversary celebrations, Aperture’s Board of Trustees announced today that it will make a historic building on the Upper West Side it’s permanent home next summer. Located at 380 Columbus Avenue, the building places the photography organization in a bustling residential and cultural hub, across from the American Museum of Natural History and just a few blocks from the New-York Historical Society and Central Park – providing access to a wider spectrum of local and international audiences than ever in the organization’s history.

Featuring a new ground floor entrance and expansive street presence, the building enables Aperture to expand its reach and strengthen the impact of its initiatives, which demonstrate the power of photography to spark curiosity and enhance understanding of the world and each other. Two floors, encompassing 10,000 square feet of the 1886 building, will be repurposed as a hub for collaboration and convening, and a site for public engagement with Aperture’s quarterly magazine, books, and prints

Marking its 70th anniversary this year, Aperture has been located for nearly two decades in a fourth-floor space in Chelsea, where the organization has mounted exhibitions and public programs; published Aperture magazine and countless acclaimed photobooks; and hosted its bookstore and limited-edition print program. Aperture’s editors deconstruct the story as follows:

“In Aperture’s first issue, published in 1952, the founding editors mapped out the reasons for bringing the magazine to life. With intelligence—and a hefty dose of earnestness—they sought to create a space for photographers and 'creative people everywhere' to communicate and speak to one another. This was a daring endeavor at the time, a labor of love driven by an almost messianic belief that photography mattered. Building a community around the publication was essential to their cause. 'Growth,' they wrote, 'can be slow and hard when you are groping alone.'  Above: Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus during a class at the Rhode Island School of Design, 1970, from the feature 5 Facts about Diane Arbus


“Photography was a lonely place back in the early 1950s. The medium wasn’t yet widely appreciated as a serious form of creative expression, and so the founders sought to make the case for the power of a still image that 'blazes with significance.' That the magazine has continually remained in print for seven decades amid shifting notions of what photography is—and might become—attests to the strong will of the founders, and of those editors, equally indefatigable, who followed and kept the magazine going, even as print media, in the age of screens, seemed destined for the dustbin.” Above: Alex Prager, Eve, 2008, from the feature 17 Photographers Reflect on Key Images for Aperture’s 70th Anniversary

The 70th anniversary issue, with portfolios of images by Iñaki Bonillas, Dayanita Singh, Yto Barrada, Mark Steinmetz, John Edmonds, Hannah Whitaker, and Hank Willis Thoma, and feature articles by Darryl Pinckney, Olivia Laing, Geoff Dyer, Brian Wallis, Susan Stryker, Lynne Tillman, and Salamishah Tillet, is now available.