This was in the BJP yesterday and worth posting here;

Hungry for more

It's 40 years since London staged perhaps the most significant exhibition in Britain's recent photographic history. 'When Henri Cartier-Bresson's large-scale solo show finally opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1969 - after much opposition from the Museum's directorate - it was so popular that the Museum feared for the safety of its visitors,' wrote Val Williams in the Frenchman's obituary in The Independent in 2004. 'For the British photographic community, starved of quality museum exhibitions, it was a revelation and inspired many successful careers in the medium.'

Four decades on, the picture has changed dramatically, and in any given week you could see as many as 30 photography exhibitions in the capital, and more than twice that throughout the country as a whole. Yet the HCB show wasn't quite the turning point it might have been. Few of the large-scale photography exhibitions initiated abroad ever make it to the UK. In most cases, there's simply neither the space nor the will. Moreover, we're not instigating our own big shows.

Paul Graham may have just won the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize, but it took a German institution - the Museum Folkwang in Essen - to stage his first major mid-career retrospective. Thankfully, the Whitechapel Gallery will show the exhibition next year, but I assume it will be a heavily edited version of Folkwang's version, which runs across more than a dozen rooms.

So, I heartily welcome news that the National Media Museum will open a satellite London space in 2011. And I'm optimistic that it won't just provide extra hanging space for its excellent collection, but will instead be allowed to stage internationally significant shows - both its own and others'.

We're no longer starved, but we are still hungry.

Simon Bainbridge, Editor.