As you’d expect, photography exhibits are a fixture in most large galleries and museums in Amsterdam, but there are a couple of dedicated, very noteworthy galleries in the city that will satisfy photo lovers without all of those darned paintings getting in the way. The most high-profile is the internationally famous Foam gallery on Keizersgracht, but further along the same prestigious canal is our favourite, a lesser known gem called Huis Marseille.
The gallery provides lovers of the art form with excellent selections from national and international photographers. On our multiple visits to the gallery we’ve noticed that it rarely seeks to display much of an avant-garde nature (leaving that in part to Foam) but instead opts for a pleasing mixture of contemporary photography that reflects more intimate insights into its subject as part of dedicated exhibitions or photographer retrospectives.
The museum has occupied two adjoining grachten houses since it’s expansion in 2013 and there’s no doubt that the building itself, with it’s marble hallway and whitewashed 17th Century features, adds depth to the experience. On the ground floor there’s a decent bookshop where, as you’d expect, the latest exhibition can be acquired in bound form. At the back of the house, a small garden and occasional cafe leads to a little garden gallery that feels like a bonus.
The Museumkaart is accepted, so if you’re an Amsterdammer or even just a tourist and museum junkie, the card will let you get in free time and time again. It’s also free for Subbacultcha card holders, so popping in for a look at the latest exhibit isn’t a risk.
Not that we think a visit to Huis Marseille is ever risky business. In our experience it has some of the most consistently high-quality exhibitions in Amsterdam. We can’t recommend it enough.