5 best photography museums in Italy

They are dynamic, they plan lots of exhibitions every year, but they don’t always get all the visibility they deserve. Here is a guide to the 5 best photography museums in Italy, with new temporary exhibitions and permanent collections that explore the best of international and Italian photography.

Camera – Italian Center for Photography (Turin)

foto museo camera
Foto appartenente agli Organizzatori dell’evento e pubblicata ad esclusivo utilizzo collegato alle esigenze di Ufficio Stampa

A recently established museum, the Camera in Turin has the mission to create a space dedicated to photography as a form of language, documentation and artistic expression that stimulates visitors and questions. The entirety of its spaces is reserved for temporary collections, which from season to season have been dedicated both to the famous names of the elite of international photography (Ai Weiwei, Cartier-Bresson, Francesco Jodice) and to intriguing exhibitions wuth precise theme (Paparazzi, the Olivetti, May ’68).
The temporary exhibition.
Nel Mirino – Italy and the world in the Publifoto Intesa Sanpaolo photo archive 1939-1981 (April 13th – July 7th)..
A collection from the Publifoto historical archive, which spans 50 years of Italy. Over 200 shots that capture some of the most important episodes in our history, including the 1946 referendum, the Polesine flood, the Superga tragedy of Turin football team (Grande Torino) and the Beatles concert at the Petruzzelli in Milan.

MUFOCO – Museum of Contemporary Photography (Cinisello Balsamo, Milan)

Established in 2004 in the seventeenth-century Villa Ghirlanda of Cinisello Balsamo, the MUFOCO focuses its activities on contemporary photography. In his archive, there are collections of photographs that take the urban, industrial and post-industrial landscape of the province of Milan.
The temporary exhibition.
Enzo sono Lina (Enzo I am Lina) (April 5th – May 5th)..
An installation that brings together photography and audio: 50 hours of sounds and messages collected randomly on magnetic tapes in contact with a selection of photographs by Luca Andreoni, Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico, Vincenzo Castella, Daniele De Lonti, Guido Guidi.

Casa dei Tre Oci (Venice)

Mostra Tre Oci
© Letizia Battaglia, Vicino la Chiesa di Casa Professa, 1991, Palermo © Letizia Battaglia

Located in the Dorsoduro district, the Casa dei Tre Oci (House of the Three Eyes) is a Venetian building of the ‘900 that since 2012 has become a museum entirely devoted to the comparison on contemporary languages. In recent years, it has hosted several internationally renowned photographers including Werner Bischof, David Lacha-skin and Helmut Newton.
The temporary exhibition.
Letizia Battaglia – Photography as a lifestyle choice (March 20th – August 18th)..
Letizia Battaglia is one of the most significant Italian photographers and her work represents an example of photography from life, suspended between inquiry and open social criticism. The exhibition at the Tre Oci includes 300 photographs – many of which are unpublished – with which Battaglia immortalized some painful moments in the history of the Italian Country – the murder of the President of Sicily, Piersanti Mattarella, for example). She also portrayed important artists and intellectuals from the XX century (Sanguineti, Pasolini), and took moments of normal everyday life (the series of portraits of adults and children photographed from the 70s onwards).

Alinari Image Museum (Trieste)

alinari image museum Colle San Giusto (Trieste) [/caption]

Opened only three years ago, the Alinari Image Museum is located within the magnificent setting of the Castle of San Giusto, in the center of Trieste. The mission of this young museum is to transmit the culture of photography, both in its technical aspects and in its multiple languages. Each exhibition is divided into two parallel paths: a photo gallery (with collections of images on traditional supports) and an educational path (developed instead through multimedia and interactive contents). In the heart of the museum, you will find also the Alinari Archive, an impressive catalog consisting of more than 50,000 high-resolution images, that you can browse through 80 classes and 8,000 keywords.
The temporary exhibition.
I mari dell’uomo (The seas of man) – Photographs by Folco Quilici..
A collection of images taken from 1952 up to 2008 depicting the encounter between Man and Sea. The sea is represented through the eyes of the Man, who settle on the great seascapes, on the wrecks submerged in the abyss, on the rituals of coastal villages, on the work of fishermen, and on Polynesian children caught while playing with sharks.

MACOF – Italian Photography Center (Brescia)

© Renato Corsini

The MACOF in Brescia hosts several permanent collections within the imposing walls of the Martinengo Colleoni palace: all of them focus on Italian photography. The MACOF is not only a simple museum, but also a place of information, study and research on the history of Italian photography, thanks to the importance and size of its archives.
The permanent collections.
There are eight permanent collections to be visited at the MACOF:
The years of neorealism..
The history of Italy during post-war reconstruction through the images of newspapers and other publications.
The photo reports of international and local stars in the years of the economic boom, including Anita Ekberg, Ava Gardner, Aiche Nanà and Sophia Loren.
Look at a changing country..
The transformation of Italy from a predominantly agricultural nation to an industrial country between the 1950s and the 70s.
The masters of reportage..
The great international reports from Italian newspapers.
The portrait.. A series of portraits of great characters of the twentieth century, including Calvino and Ezra Pound.
The Italian experimental photography between the 60s and 70s, with portraits of the great early-king Ugo Mulas.
From photography of man to photography of places..
Photography that scours the landscapes of the Italian territory starting from the 70s.
Fashion, still-life, advertising..
mages used for advertising campaigns that have contributed to making the Made in Italy reknown worldwide.

Target Point, Italian Ideas