The history of photography lives here. thousands of photographs, an inestimable artistic heritage that the Centre has acquired since its foundation and which today tells its identity are stored in the archive Within the walls of the Renaissance Palazzo Tadea.
Between history and future, CRAF safeguards important collections with the help of the most modern and sophisticated technologies, animated by the desire to deliver an unmatched visual "memory" to the new generations.
Special mention is reserved for the acquisition of the complete series of photographs taken between 1922 and 1926 in Friuli and Istria by Paul Scheuermeier for the Institute of Glottology Romance in Bern, and the Ugo Pellis series made between 1925 and 1935 for the Italian Linguistic Atlas. In 2003 the complete set of photographs taken in 1914 and 1915 by André Kertesz in Gorizia was acquired by the Ministry of Culture of France.
In 1995 The Centre acquired the photographic archive, the library and the correspondence of Luigi Crocenzi (1923 - 1984) photographer and cultural operator, former collaborator of Elio Vittorini in the magazine “Il Politecnico” whose work has characterized the history of post-Second World War Italian photography. There are about 5000 negatives and about 3000 original positives. In addition to the photographs by Crocenzi himself, his works include works by authors such as Mario Giacomelli, Ugo Mulas, Ferdinando Scianna, Mario Cresci, Toni Nicolini, Pepi Merisio and Piergiorgio Branzi to name just a few.
In 2002 photographer Aldo Beltrame, a member of the Friulian Group for a New Photography, donated his entire archive consisting of 3,000 vintage prints and 5,000 negatives to CRAF. From the Group, CRAF then acquired 3,000 negatives by Carlo Bevilacqua and 400 photographic prints by other members of the association.
The art collections of Tullio Stravisi and Katia Drigo, a young emerging artist who prematurely passed away, are also conserved.
Among the latest arrivals, the collections of the Orio del Mistro from Maniago, of Gianenrico Vedramin from Sanvito and, in loan for use, the archive of Carlo Leidi from Bergamo.
Toni Nicolini’s art collection has also recently arrived at the CRAF. Among the most important advocates of Italian photography, he began working in the sector in the early 60s: his photography combines the commitment of social narration to poetic narration. The archive consists of over 35,000 positive prints and over 75,000 colour slides, books and letters collected over the years.
In addition to this, also an art collection from Francesco Krivec, the most important portrait photographer of Udine in the twentieth century: 60,000 negatives on plates and films of different formats and about 300 positive prints. In his studio, people of historical, cultural and social interest were photographed. Among the best known: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Chino Ermacora, Siro Angeli, Carlo Pignat, Fred Pittino, Gino Valle, Don De Roja, Clara Calamai, the Orfei sisters, musicians, actors and other artists.
In addition to studio portraiture, Francesco Krivec ventured into news and reportage photos. There are various sporting events, religious events, fascist meetings and celebrations, the streets of Udine shaken by the bombardments of the Second World War, significant places of work and commerce in Udine in the fifties, the psychiatric hospital of Sant'Osvaldo, the visit of the King Vittorio Emanuele III in Udine in 1942, and those, in the post-war period, of political figures (the honourable De Gasperi, Berlinguer, Segni, Giannini, President Saragat, etc.). A skilled printer and a precise retoucher of negatives, Francesco Krivec also practiced the manual colouring of black and white prints using pastels. He proved to be a prolific experimenter especially of photographic printing techniques: solarizations, effects of false relief, geometric compositions, backlight effects, pictorialisms (soft focus, print textures, toning, etc.) allow us to review the eclectic panorama of cultural trends of international photography from 1930 to 1970. He was the first Friulian photographer to try his hand in colour prints, with the "dye-transfer" system from slide.
A part of the archive is dedicated to the epic Friulian emigration to European and transoceanic destinations: here we find vintages from the photographic collection by Giovanni Ciani (second half of the nineteenth century), the reproductions of Count Ceconi's albums with photographs by Alois Beer , images of the long journey of Giovanni Simoni along the Trans-Siberian and in the China of the Thirties, as well as images of private collections, representative of the life and conditions of the emigrants today. The photographic projects by Maria Zorzon in Avellaneda and Reconquista in Argentina, and of Francesco Nonino in New York, are also stored here.
Finally, CRAF collects and promotes photographic campaigns of established authors and emerging talents of contemporary photography that contribute to enhance the archive repertoire and record the environmental and social metamorphosis of the area. In this regard, the photographic campaigns are worthy of mention. Tredici fotografi in un itinerario pasoliniano -Thirteen photographers following a Pasolini itinerary (1995) and Terre a Nordest -North-Eastern lands - Friuli Venezia Giulia twenty years after the earthquake (1996).