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The Top 25 Independent Photography Centers in the U.S.

July 7, 2017


Each year I publish a list of the largest independent, nonprofit photography centers in the U.S., ranked according to their self-reported total annual revenues. Here's the current list, based upon 2015 data.

  1. International Center of Photography (New York, NY) – $31,740,096

  2. George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY) – $7,979,988

  3. Aperture Foundation (New York, NY) – $5,646,731

  4. Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego, CA) –  $3,353,722

  5. Palm Beach Photographic Centre (West Palm Beach, FL) – $1,093,219

  6. Houston Center for Photography (Houston, TX) – $1,076,690

  7. Photo Center Northwest (Seattle, WA) – $928,662

  8. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (Philadelphia, PA) – $660,263

  9. Light Work Visual Studies (Syracuse, NY) – $508,055

  10. Los Angeles Center of Photography (Los Angeles, CA) - $488,123

  11. Center for Photography at Woodstock (Woodstock, NY) – $460,161

  12. Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester, NY) – $441,612

  13. Newspace Center for Photography (Portland, OR) – $427,626

  14. Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (Tampa, FL) – $329,647

  15. San Francisco Camerawork (San Francisco, CA) – $304,323

  16. Center for Fine Art Photography (Ft Collins, CO) – $302,587

  17. Center (Santa Fe, NM) – $292,468

  18. Camera Club of New York (New York, NY) – $255,232

  19. Light Factory (Charlotte, NC) – $254,989

  20. International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (St Louis, MO) – $240,632

  21. Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA) – $240,247

  22. Silver Eye Center for Photography (Pittsburgh, PA) – $211,867

  23. Colorado Photographic Arts Center (Denver, CO) - $181,745

  24. Center for Photographic Art (Carmel, CA) – $172,644

  25. Athens Photographic Project (Athens, OH) – $145,032


The caveats for this list are: 

  • These are completely independent organizations that provide educational and community services such as classes, an exhibition space, library and/or outreach services. There are other large organizations that are not independent, such as the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, or that are focused on promoting the work of a specific photographer, such as the Robert Maplethorpe Foundation. I did not include those types of organizations in this list.

  • The revenue amounts are for fiscal year 2015. As of July 2017, that's the most recent year in which the 990 tax forms are readily available online for all of these organizations.

  • Some organizations report their financial information based on a calendar year, and some report on a July-to-June fiscal year. For this list I've chosen the ending date of the reporting period as the fiscal year.

I use GuideStar to review the 990s and compile this information. If you find any errors or organizations I've inadvertently left off of the list, please let me know.


I'll update this list annually as new tax returns are available online. 


Tim Greyhavens

July 2017

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