Who are we ?

The Manuel Álvarez Bravo Association was founded in March 2005 as a non-profit organization offering tax-deductible receipts for donations. Its offices occupy one section of the photographer´s studio in Coyoacán, Mexico City.

This organization came into being through the initiative of Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s widow and two daughters, to ensure that the personal archives of one of the most important representatives of the history of photography be kept intact, in optimum conditions and in the artist’s native country of Mexico.

The Association, which currently consists of a working team of three people, devotes itself to researching and preserving the Álvarez Bravo's negative archives, as well as promoting his legacy. It offers consulting and advising services, coordinates projects related to the artist and watches over the good use of his work.

We intend to make our work accessible both to people who know little or nothing about the photographer’s production and to those who are interested in or devoted to photography as an art form or as a document. Our work is also directed at those who think, as we do, that photography in general and Álvarez Bravo’s work in particular constitute an essential part of the cultural patrimony of Mexico and the world.

We are strong believers in the fact that the work we have preserved is not only valuable, but also fragile. It is our duty to protect it, but also to ensure that it is used in order to further our mission.

We want to have access to the necessary infrastructure and resources to fulfill our mission and to expand and improve our services. We wish to be an organization recognized for our independence, capacity for development and long-term viability.

The Association aspires to grow and establish itself as a cultural organization that favors the knowledge and enjoyment of photography, and which makes a significant contribution to the cultivation of the arts in Mexico and abroad.

What we have achieved ?
  • From March 2005 to date, we have digitalized and classified 85% of the negative archive from an estimated total of 33,690.
  • We have performed a general diagnostic of the archive's preservation needs.
  • We have established an initial framework to optimize the control of the rights on the work of Manuel Álvarez Bravo.
  • We have made ourselves known among Mexico's main institutions devoted to the preservation and diffusion of photography.
  • We have started three exhibition projects with material from the archive.
  • We have researched and provided unpublished materials for Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s first great book, with over 350 photos,which was published by British editor Thames & Hudson in fall 2008 and distributed in five languages.
  • We have provided different institutions and museums and researchers with information on the artist.
Our activities are structured around short-, medium- and long-term objectives. Our short- and medium-term objectives include: creating a digital archive and catalogue for the approximately 33,600 negatives in the photographer’s personal collection, building a conservation vault, organizing diverse exhibitions and publishing a catalogue raisonné. The long-term objective is to open the Manuel Álvarez Bravo Museum in his former home in southern Mexico City.