The 8 Best Photography Museums in The World

When you are travelling, you are definitely taking many photos of the places you visit. There is one useful hint on how you can become a better photographer and make your pictures more artistic and attractive. Try going to photography museums in the cities that you visit. All of them have the same goal; to show the visitors the art of photography. They present the popular photographers and the young and upcoming ones. But still all photography museums are unique in their own way.

Here is our top 8 photography museums, which are interesting for everyone who likes photography or has just started their journey into the photographic world.


So what are the 8 best photography museums?

Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago

Founded by Columbia College Chicago in 1976.  Its modern and simple interior provides you with a stylish pathway into the world of photography. This photography museum has a collection including such popular artists as Ansel Adams, Marina Abramović, Harry Callahan, and many others. There was also an exhibition of the  popular modern artist Ai Weiwei recently.

The museum presents  its permanent collection, group exhibitions, personal exhibitions, and works of upcoming photographers too. You can always find something interesting and innovative to see. And, of course, there is a museum shop here where you can buy prints and different accessories.


Photography Museums - Museum of Contemporary Photography
Museum of Contemporary Photography. Photo credit: nicktakingpicsofstuff

International Center of Photography, New York

If you love photography and enjoy observing beautiful images, then ICP should be in your list of photography museums to visit. The permanent collection here offers you more than 100,000 works and includes photographs of such popular artists as Robert Capa, W. Eugene Smith, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and others.

The building of ICP has a great location in the heart of Manhattan. After inspiring of professional photographers you can walk around a beautiful Manhattan and try yourself to be a photographer for a few hours.


Photography Museums - International Center of Photography
International Center of Photography. Photo credit: angad_kalsi

Hamiltons Gallery, London

Visiting London you will definitely go to the most popular tourist destinations but do not forget one of the most popular photography gallery in the world! This is an abode of modern and contemporary photographers. The gallery can boast of having exhibited such artists as Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz, and Helmut Newton.

If you like artistic atmosphere and interesting photography, this gallery is for you. If you still doubt whether you like photography or not, go to Hamiltons and you will be wishing to return to this place every time you are in London.


Photography museums - Hamiltons Gallery
Hamiltons Gallery. Photo credit: hamiltonsgallery


Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam (Foam), Amsterdam

If you like really interesting museums, then the photography museum in Amsterdam is something that you need! It offers photographs of popular and less popular artists who work in different styles and genres. The museum also organises different events and lectures connected to photography.

There is a cafe, a library, and a bookshop, so before or after visiting the expositions you can have a look into the library to get to know more about photography and the artists, or just chill in the café and enjoy a cup of coffee. Try analysing art works and thinking about your own ideas of photos you can create.


Photography Museums - Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam (Foam). Photo credit: foam_amsterdam


C/O Berlin, Berlin

One of the gems of the Berlin art scene is the exhibition center for photography C/O Berlin. It has been open since 2000 and offers many exhibitions. Each exhibition changes several times a year. You can find popular internationally known photographers exhibiting here, as well as young artists who just started their career in photography.

As in many photography museums and galleries, also here you can find a café for relaxing after a long walk around the gallery, and also a bookshop which has a great collection of books about photographers and art of photography. If you take one book in order to get familiar with it, you cannot stop reading it and should buy it by all means, because it is really worth it!


Photography Museums - C/O Berlin
C/O Berlin. Photo credit: coberlin


Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing

This is the first art space in China dedicated entirely to photography. When talking about art in China it is impossible to avoid the name of Ai WeiWei, who was already mentioned above. His contribution to Art Center in Beijing is the design of gallery space complex.

Apart from offering the exhibitions, the Art Centre has also Artist-in-residence program for international photographers and other artists to work and create new masterpieces. If you are an artist, think about this opportunity, it is really something unique and challenging.


Photography Museums - Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre. Photo credit: gaomingxi

The Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), Paris

This museum is situated in the very heart of Paris. The House of Photography has opened in 1996 and is located in a beautiful old building of 18th century. It is a typical Paris building with a special charm. The collection of MEP contains approximately 20,000 works.

Do you like photography, modern artists and the history of photography? This place is definitely for you! The exhibitions are changing all the time. If you visit Paris several times a year, you will definitely find new exhibitions in this museum. If you are a keen photographer, you can check out the library which offers a wide range of books and video records. There is also a cozy café where you can cartonner with the locals.


Photography Museums - The Maison Européenne de la Photographie
The Maison Européenne de la Photographie. Photo credit: mep_paris

The Swedish Museum of Photography (Fotografiska), Stockholm

This is quite an extraordinary museum. If you want to feel a magic of photography and enter the world of images fully, go to Fotografiska… at night! That’s correct, from Thursday to Saturday the museum is open till 1am! This is really a perfect time to enjoy the art alone because usually there are not many people here at this time. The exhibitions are changing constantly and many artists, both popular and the beginners, are presented here. There was even an exhibition of the singer Bryan Adams!

Visiting Fotografiska you should not avoid the café on the top floor of the buidling, it has a fantastic view. Here you can check your photographer talent and take some pictures of the view.


Photography Museums - Fotografiska
Fotografiska. Photo credit: fotografiska

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