Take a journey through the history of photography. Step into a 19th century portrait studio, see hundreds of incredible objects from our collection, and watch the world’s first moving colour film.
From the very first photographs to digital snaps, discover the history of photography in the Kodak Gallery.
The invention of photography and the first portraits
See how experiments with chemistry and light created the first permanent images. Examine the work of pioneers like Niépce, Talbot and Daguerre, and view some of our most important objects, from the ancient camera obscura to photographic portraits of the 1840s.
Daylight studio and Victorian drawing room
History comes alive in our replica of a portrait photographer’s studio—exactly as it would have been in 1865. See how portraits were created with the help of natural light. Then, step into a Victorian drawing room and inspect the popular carte de visite portraits of the era.
The birth of popular photography
With the introduction of the Kodak camera in 1888 and the Brownie in 1900, photography went from professional occupation to popular pastime. View cameras from the 1880s onwards, and learn about the enthusiastic amateurs who formed clubs and participated in international competitions.
The post-war years
The second half of the 20th century saw a boom in photography, with the emergence of innovations such as the Instamatic, Polaroid and 35mm SLR, followed by the rise of colour photography in the 1960s. Take a look at popular cameras from the post-war period right through to the digital revolution.
The world’s first colour moving pictures
The Kodak Gallery is home to one of our most amazing discoveries: the earliest moving colour film. Using the method patented by Edward Turner and Frederick Marshall Lee in 1899, we were able to reveal full-colour moving images on test films from 1901–03, making them viewable for the first time in 110 years.
Many of the items on display in this gallery are taken from our collection of 35,000 objects and images donated by Kodak Ltd.
The Lee and Turner project was funded by the Screen Heritage UK Programme and supported by Brian Pritchard, David Cleveland, Roger Mortimer, Madeline Weller and Prime Focus. Special thanks to Yorkshire Film Archive and Screen Yorkshire.