The primary focus of the MUUS Collection is to bring together American photography archives from the twentieth century.

Our mission as custodians of this collection is to make visible these exceptional photography archives through exhibitions, scholarship, donations, licensing, and the printing of images and books.


The MUUS Collection brings together photographic works that mark major turning points in American history, ultimately creating a road map of our shared past. We believe in the unique power of photography as an inimitable touchstone of collective cultural memory, and it is our goal to preserve and promote these invaluable artifacts for generations to come.

As a functional archive, the MUUS Collection builds, preserves, studies, and shares its outstanding collections of American photography, generating new scholarship and understanding, while instigating interesting and relevant dialogues within the wider photography community. The combined art, archival, and research materials that make up the MUUS Collection ultimately serve to deepen our appreciation of how photography impacts society.

We are dedicated to the critical understanding of historical photography and related media, and aim to highlight the ways in which the visual arts can facilitate a reflection of our shared American history. Where did we come from, and where are we going? What have we learned from our victories and mistakes, and how can we filter these lessons productively through our current moment?