Top 5 independent photography galleries in Amsterdam
The Netherlands is renowned for its art scene, and not least, its photography. Many culture-vultures may have visited museums in the Netherlands related to photography, such as the FOAM photography museum in Amsterdam and the Netherlands Photography Museum in Rotterdam or photography events like Unseen, World Press Photo Festival and Haute Photographie.
Photo events are landmarks on the art calendar, putting the Netherlands on the global map in the high art photography world, as photographers, artists and photo fans of all kinds come together and strike up a dialogue and share ideas. However, in Amsterdam, photo fans can feast their eyes on top independent art photography in all its glory, no matter what time of year.
First-rate photo galleries in Amsterdam
Lindengracht 35, Amsterdam
Established by Roy Kahmann, one of the ardent exponents of photography in the Netherlands, it originally focused on Dutch photographers, but the scope has since broadened to include international talent. The gallery is a specialist in the sale of fine art photography. Kahmann Gallery deals in a range of vintage and contemporary photography. Their vintage collection from 1930 to 1970 represents over 30 photographers, both Dutch and international.
The Kahmann Gallery organises at least six exhibitions each year and also cooperates with art fairs, such as Haute Photographie, Unseen Amsterdam, This Art Fair Amsterdam, Photo Basel, Paris Photo and PAN Amsterdam. Kahmann Gallery, located in the Jordaan area of Amsterdam, is a true champion of photography. If you’re in the neighbourhood, it’s well worth a visit.
Stephan Vanfleteren, Surftribe California, Luke Guinaldo, Courtesy of Kahmann Gallery
Galerie Caroline O’Breen
Hazenstraat 15, Amsterdam
Running since 2009, it used to be called Seelevel Gallery, but since 2015 it has been rebranded as Galerie Caroline O’Breen. Located in Hazenstraat, not far from the picturesque “9 straatjes”, Galerie Caroline O’Breen focuses on top fine art photography from artists from the Netherlands and beyond, especially photographers who explore and expand the diversity of the photographic medium.
This gallery often features photography used in a different form and function to usual, such as collages, sculptures, installations and conceptual art.
Jitske Schols, Purity, Courtesy of Galerie Caroline O’Breen
Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen
Hazenstraat 27bg, Amsterdam
Also located on Hazenstraat, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen has exhibited at Unseen, Haute Photographie, Amsterdam Art Weekend, Art Rotterdam and many more.
Established in 2001, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen specialises in contemporary photography, with its roots in traditional genres, such as landscapes and portraiture. It explores the interface between photography for photography’s sake and documentary photography. The gallery also represents both young talent and established international photographers.
Langdon Clay, Cars, Courtesy of Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen
MAG Photography specialises in limited edition editorial photography by Dutch fashion photographers. The photographers featured in MAG photography are regularly featured in the likes of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Esquire and many other big names in fashion photography. MAG Photography participates in fine art exhibitions such as Haute Photography, and if you’re feeling like treating yourself to something off the beaten track, you can also go to their home gallery.
For the fashion photography lover, MAG Photography has a gallery space on the Prinsengracht, which is open by appointment only. This private viewing can be a captivating art experience, where your interests and needs are taken into consideration: when you make an appointment to have a viewing, you send them your interests or identify your favourite MAG photographs, and they prepare the gallery space with masterpieces ready for your eyes only.
Petrovsky & Ramone, Sandburst, Courtesy of MAG Photography
The Ravestijn Gallery
Westerdok 824, Amsterdam
Known for its provocative style, the Ravestijn Gallery curates fascinating exhibitions both in their own gallery space on the Westerdok, and at numerous other exhibitions and photography fairs each year. They explore new perspectives for photography in all its possible forms. In its permanent collection, Ravestijn has gathered an expansive collection of photography from the 20th century.
Christopher Anderson, Bleu Blanc Rouge no.3, 2011. Courtesy of The Ravestijn Gallery
Champions of photography
If you’ve missed your favourite photography fair, you can always do a tour of the top photo galleries in Amsterdam. The aforementioned five galleries will be exhibiting at Haute Photographie in Rotterdam from February 7-10.
Header image: Surftribe Brazil Leo Cabral © StephanVanfleteren, Courtesy of Kahmann Gallery