MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
Solveig Steinhardt didn’t have to walk much to visit all of Berlin’s main photography centers. They are all conveniently located within a few blocks from each other.
Snap happy! You don't have to walk far to visit Berlin's main photography centers.
In recent years, Berlin’s cultural institutions seem to have gone out of their way to concentrate all photography-related museums in the “City West.” First came the
Kunstbibliothek Collection of Photography, inaugurated in 2004 inside the opulent building just across from the back entrance of the Zoo station. Just a few months after its opening, the museum received a second injection of photographic works following the sudden death of Hollywood photographer Helmut Newton, who donated his opera
omnia to the city of his birth. Since then, the Kunstbibliothek Collection and the Helmut
Newton Foundation have been sharing the same building, which has been renamed
Museum of Photography (p. 42) and hosts contemporary exhibitions next to its historic pieces. The development of the Kantstraße area into the city’s “photo town” is not an artificial creation, however, but rather the natural expansion of West Berlin’s pre- existing art gallery district: ever since the 1990s, photorelated galleries like Camera Work (Kantstr. 149) and Galerie Springer (Fasanestr. 13) have been bringing international photographers to town, and their programs have included names like Diane Arbus, Irving Penn, Man Ray, and many more. The latest photographic addition to the area is the C/O Berlin (p. 43) art center, which recently opened its new exhibition space inside the Amerika Haus, a Cold War- era American library and cultural center. In its newly renovated rooms, C/O Berlin features three exhibitions at a time, each connected to special events and conferences. This month, the venue will be tracing the history of the 20th century, starting from Germany’s darkest years with the work of resistance fighter Lore Krüger from 1934–1944 in A Suitcase Full Of Pictures, continuing with London’s Swinging Sixties with the exhibition Blow Up on Michelangelo Antonioni’s film photography (see images above), and ending with Visible Surface, exploring the work of 37-year- old Finnish photographer Niina Vatanen.