MAKE IT SNAPPY

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The Independent Online
London goes snap happy this week with the opening of three new photography exhibitions and the capital's 33rd Photograph Fair.

At The Photographers' Gallery, Camera Obscured surveys the changing face of museums through archive prints. Work ranges from Roger Fenton's records of the 1850s, through the opening of the 1937 Degenerate Art Show, to a How Real is Realism? exhibition in Chicago, providing a visual history of the intellectual mores and politics that have informed public exhibition over the last century. Surreal images include the installation of a giant model centipede in a 1950s "Forest Floor" diorama (see p34) and pictures of the British Museum's displays sandbagged against bombing during WWI.

A second show by the gallery views museums from a different angle, examining the basic concept behind "the collection". Curated by artist Neil Cummings, Collected traces the public passion for ordered material accumulation. As part of the display, Cummings has persuaded designers Richard Lowe and Paul Smith to exhibit their private collections. While Smith's will be displayed in his shop windows, Lowe will be opening up his own Soho apartment to visitors - who will get a glimpse of his shrine to all things Egyptian.

Alternatively, why not invest in some prints and start your own collection? At Zodiac, punters can purchase different interpretations of star signs by artists such as Tim Dry (his Sagittarius is pictured above left), Johnathan Root and Katherine Fawssett, while this year's Photograph Fair offers visitors the chance to buy a range of modern and antique images, including rare Victorian prints and Daguerreotypes.

Camera Obscured: The Photographers' Gallery, Great Newport St London (0171-831 1772) 2 May-21 Jun; Zodiac, Association of Photographers, Domingo St (0171-608 1445) 29 Apr-10 May; Photograph Fair, Bonnington Hotel, London WC1 (01865 735119) tomorrow; Collected, venues around London to 21 Jun

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