What is APAG?
The American Photography Archives Group is a resource organization for individuals who own or manage a privately held photography archive. Collectively, the group has dealt with everything from archival supplies and copyright infringement to working with photo dealers. Our meetings provide a supportive and lively forum for exchanging experience and knowledge with others who have faced or are facing similar issues. From time to time, guest speakers also share their expertise in intellectual property law, estate planning, appraisals, and other topics vital to managing an archive. See video excerpts from our first panel discussion, and read the article “What to Do with All the Photographs” by Mary Engel.
President & Founder
Executive Vice President
Julia Van Haaften
Who are our members?
Most of our members have inherited a photography collection from a parent, spouse, or other family member. A few represent foundations that were created to administer a photography archive. There are also many living photographers who are organizing their archives, and preparing to turn over administration of their archive to a family member or institution at a later time. We also have adjunct members from related fields such as archivists and librarians. Visit our membership page to see whose work is represented in APAG, and go to the Photographs page to see some of their photographs and read their biographies.
Penelope Dixon Howard Greenberg Mark Lubell Katharine Martinez, Ph.D.
Founder and President, Penelope Dixon & Associates
Founder and Owner, Howard Greenberg Gallery
Executive Director, International Center of Photography
Director, Center for Creative Photography
Katharine Martinez, Ph.D.
How did APAG get started?
Our founder and president, Mary Engel, assumed responsibility for the archive of her mother, photographer and filmmaker Ruth Orkin, when Ms. Orkin passed away. It was a difficult task, with much to learn about intellectual property rights, conservation and preservation, promotion, and the world of photography galleries and dealers. Mary has gained a wealth of knowledge and know-how, and when her father, photojournalist and filmmaker Morris Engel, passed away, she inherited his archive as well.
Over the years, Mary reached out to others who were in a similar situation and became an informal consultant. As her network of fledgling archive managers grew, so did the demands on her time. She realized that everyone could benefit from each other’s experience, so she started organizing meetings. At first the group was small enough to meet over dinner in a restaurant. Soon, however, more people joined, and a larger, quieter meeting space was needed. Mary arranged for the group to meet at ICP, and the organization has became more structured, holding meetings three or four times a year. In 2013, APAG became a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation, and began accepting dues for the first time in 10 years.
Mary Engel talks about starting APAG.
APAG Panel Discussion
October 28, 2008