Photography as an art is a very recent thing, historically speaking. Although it hasn’t travelled as much as other plastic arts like painting, drawing and engraving, it is without a doubt, one of the most valued manifestations by art lovers, for its beauty and expressivity. Hence, the main theme of this post, photography museums.
As main testimony and documentation of the art and society of the XX and XXI centuries, these are some of the most renown museums – The National Portrait Gallery in London we already visited in a previous post- , focused in photography. You can enjoy, get inspired, learn and, who knows, might be one day exhibit your works, as a professional photographer.
Best 4 photography museums in the planet
Ludwig Museum (Germany)
Ludwig Museum is situated in Cologne and is one of the most renowned in Germany. It holds an ample variety of works from the XX and XXI centuries. Different artistic currents are represented, like German Expressionism, Surrealism, Abstract art and Pop art. What really is interesting is the permanent collection of photography. Known as Agfa-Photo-Historama, it is an assortment that documents the history of professional photography and the evolution of technical equipment, cameras, etc…
Foam Museum (Netherlands)
This museum placed in Amsterdam exhibits regularly works from contemporary professional photographers like August Sander. Also, works from advertising agencies like KesselsKramer. At the same time it shows works of less known photographers out of the professional circles. Beyond quality images, it also has a Photography Library with a specialised bibliographic collection.
Washington National Portrait Gallery (EE.UU.)
It is located in Washington D.C. and administered by the Smithsonian, and the most renown in US and the rest of the world. The main collection centers itself in famous people of the United States images. Since 1968, it takes up the old Patent Office building, that shares with the American Art Smithsonian Museum. Apart from portraits in oil and prominent pictorial manifestations, the daguerreotype image collection and the magazine covers of famous people and important moments are fantastic to behold.
Museum für Fotografie / Helmut Newton Foundation (Germany)
Situated in Berlin, is the headquarters of a foundation created thanks to the donation in 2004 of the celebrated photographer Helmut Newton and his wife, Alice Springs. Newton is one the most renown nude female portrait artists. He has been published in magazines likes Vogue, Marie Claire y Elle. Although it is a museum designed for exhibits, it also has a prestigious research and photography documentation centre.
As a professional photographer – even if you are an amateur – you must learn continuously during your career. But the only way to do that is to practice and observe – a lot – what and how others have done before you. Also do visit photography museums, displays and exhibits, be it classic or contemporary. It is a good way to compare techniques, see the evolution in subjects, find inspiration and even aspire to complete a collection or exhibit with your own works.
It is a fact that digital picture galleries -like Kilfi– are the new museum of contemporary art. But physical spaces keep certain magic. If you have the opportunity of visiting any of these museums… Don’t you doubt it!