A trans-geographical collection, the photographs of the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac also cover the entire period of photography, from 1842 till today.
It was initially formed by uniting two historical collections, that of the musée de l’Homme and that of the musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie. Since 2006, it has been expanded by regular acquisitions of antique photography, but also of contemporary creative photography.
It is today an international reference collection, for the history of the representation of the four continents: Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania. It is particularly rich in examples of early photography, between 1840 and 1870.
The contemporary collection, centered on techniques of artistic photography, aims to provide a higher profile for the work of non-European artists and photographers and an effective presence within French public collections.