© Deborah Turbeville/MUUS Collection



The MUUS Collection, a body of preeminent but under-recognized American photography archives marking formative shifts in American history, seeks to preserve and share these seminal works with new audiences. MUUS Collection, based in New Jersey, US, comprises more than 200,000 prints, negatives, contact sheets, publications, diaries, and ephemera, making it an important touchstone of collective cultural memory.

MUUS has recently acquired the Estate of Deborah Turbeville (1932-2013), one of the few female photographers working for fashion magazines alongside Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and other eminent image-makers. Turbeville’s incomparable vision means that she cannot be confined to fashion photography, however, and this remarkable archive includes a multitude of unseen photographs, collages, and ephemera. She began making collages in the late 1970s, and over the next four decades played with images and negatives—xeroxing, cutting, scraping and taping, pinning prints together, writing words in the margins. The result is a breathtaking collection of artworks that have been triturated, manipulated, torn, and glued together.

At Paris Photo, MUUS is proud to reveal ‘Passport,’ a selection of never before seen works from Turbeville’s 1990s body of work by the same name. The original series of 120 collages with texts offers a highly cinematographic narrative sequence that can be read as Turbeville’s biography.  In the selection presented here, her signature style is recognizable: a certain timelessness, melancholy, and patina emanate from these hauntingly beautiful photographs.

Through offering this insight into the artist’s work, the MUUS Collection strives to generate new understanding of 20th century photography—and of Turbeville’s rightful place in its canon.