Polaroid’s ‘European Collection’ Spared from Auction, Heads to Vienna Gallery

Now that Polaroid is all but a licensing company and a paycheck and strange eyeglasses outlet for Lady Gaga, the scramble to secure the archives of the real former company still continues. Last year you’ll recall that some of Polaroid’s archival collection went to auction last year, netting several million, while another chunk was donated to MIT. Now the WestLicht gallery in Vienna has announced that it has received roughly 4,400 images taken by 800 artists and photographers in what’s been referred to as Polaroid’s “European Collection.” This particular assembly of materials had been laying dormant in the Swiss Musee de l’Elysee and was set to possibly be up for another auction until the gallery stepped in. They collaborated with the Impossible Project, an organization created to help keep Polaroid film alive, receiving the collection for an undisclosed amount. No word on exactly what’s included or which artists are represented, but the gallery is planning to put together an exhibition to show some of it this summer. This is what we’re looking forward to catching a glimpse of in particular:

The eye catcher of the collection are the 1.400 large format Polaroids (20×24 inch). These images were taken with a special custom made camera and film material not available on the market. Czech photographer Jan Hnizdo, chief operator of Polaroid, travelled to selected photographers and artists with this camera.