The Museum für Fotografie (Photography) in Berlin is home to the Helmut Newton collection and temporary exhibitions of historic photos.
The Museum für Fotografie (Museum of Photography) in Berlin is used for exhibitions by the Helmut Newton Foundation and the Kunstbibliothek’s Collection of Photography. The permanent exhibition is of items owned by famous fashion photographer Helmut Newton and is enhanced by temporary exhibitions of his photos. The Kunstbibliothek arranges rotating exhibitions on a variety of themes using the Art Library’s vast collection of historic and artistic photographs. Buy tickets online.
All Berlin state museums are open in 2023. Time-slot reservations are essential only for the Alte Nationalgalerie, Gemäldegalerie, Neue Nationalgalerie, Neues Museum, Pergamon Museum (closed from October 2023 to 2027!), and Das Panorama. Timeslots are currently released only around four weeks in advance. Buy tickets and make reservations online at GetYourGuide or at SMB. Online tickets for museums without timeslot reservations are skip-the-line — go directly to the entrance to scan the ticket. Many multiple-museum tickets and passes are again accepted. The 3-day Berlin Museum Pass is excellent value.
See Update for Opening Hours of the Berlin State Museums (2023) for the latest information.
Museum für Fotografie (Museum of Photography)
The Museum für Fotografie (Museum of Photography) is located inside a former officers’ mess (Landwehr-Kasino) next to the busy Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof train station. This neoclassical building was opened in the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1909 and was recently restored including the large and impressive Kaisersaal on the top floor.
The Museum of Photography is currently used by two institutions for mostly temporary exhibitions: the Helmut Newton Foundation and the Photography Collection of the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library).
Helmut Newton Photos in Berlin
The lower two floors of the Museum für Fotografie (Museum of Photography) in Berlin is used by the Helmut Newton Foundation for exhibitions of photos by Helmut Newton (1920-2004) and his wife June Newton / Alice Springs (1923-2021). Helmut Newton was one of the most famous and prolific fashion photographers of the 20th century.
The museum usually has two Helmut Newton exhibitions:
- Helmut Newton’s Private Photography — a permanent exhibition of Newton’s cameras, photos, library, part of his office from Monaco, publications, and posters of exhibitions.
- Temporary Exhibitions — Special exhibitions of Newton photos but also by his contemporaries including his wife June, who used Alice Springs as pseudonym.
Kunstbibliothek Exhibitions in the Museum of Photography
The collection of photographs of the Art Library (Kunstbibliothek) is divided into five areas: the photographic archive, the collection of artistic photography, the personal bequests and archive, the photogrammetric holdings, and historical postcards from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Photos may be seen by appointment but for general visits, the Kunstbibliothek uses the large and impressive Kaisersaal on the top floor of the Museum of Photography for temporary exhibitions.
Museum of Photography Berlin Visitor’s Information
The Museum für Fotografie (Museum of Photography) is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 19:00.
Admission tickets are €8. Buy tickets online for skip-the-line entry.
In contrast to other exhibitions by the Berlin State Museums, taking photos in the Museum of Photography is usually discouraged. This is partly due to the copyright protection of the Helmut Newton photos.
The Museum für Fotografie (Museum of Photography) is at Jebensstraße 2 right next to the busy Berlin Zoologischer Garten train station — opposite side of the tracks from the busy bus stops on Hardenbergerplatz.
More on the Berlin State Museums (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin):
Note: Most Berlin museums and similar sights are open in 2023. Timeslot reservations are essential for only the Alte Nationalgalerie, Gemäldegalerie, Neue Nationalgalerie, Neues Museum, Pergamon Museum (closed from 23 Oct 2023 until 2027!), and Das Panorama. Timeslots are released only around four weeks in advance. Tickets are available from GetYourGuide that seem to have timeslots available when SMB has already sold out — many passes or multi-museum tickets are again available. Individual museum ticket prices range from €6 to €14 (€20 for special exhibitions). Online tickets are skip-the-line — go directly to the gallery entrance to scan the code.
For more general information on the Berlin State Museums:
- Top National Museums and Galleries in Berlin (brief overview)
- Berlin State Museums: What Is Seen Where? (a short description of the collections in the different museums)
- Opening Hours of Berlin State Museums (2023).
- Ticket Prices for Berlin State Museums (prices for museums, temporary exhibitions, combination tickets, online time-slot reservations). Buying online from GetYourGuide is a lot simpler and costs the same as the official museum website. Timeslot reservations are essential for the most popular museums!
- Save with the Berlin Museum Pass – 30 museums (including all the SMB museums) in three days for €32 – a fantastic savings deal.
- Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (official website in German & English).
News & Temporary Exhibitions:
- 2024: Frans Hals in the Gemäldegalerie
- Top Special Temporary Exhibitions in 2023 — overview, in the Kulturforum, in the Neue Nationalgalerie, on Museum Island, and the Museum of Photography.
- Both the Ethnological and Asian Art museums in the Humboldt Forum (Berlin Schloss) are now fully open — admission to both is still free and currently without the need to book a timeslot.
- The Gemäldegallerie is partly closed until September 2023 but at least 75% is open at any given time.
- The Pergamon Museum will be closed completely from 23 October 2023 and partly reopen only in spring 2027 (with the rest to follow by the mid to late 2030s).
More Museum Reviews and Museum-Specific Information:
- Alte Nationalgalerie with Caspar David Friedrich paintings.
- Altes Museum with Greek, Etruscan, and Roman art.
- Ethnological and Asian Art Museums in the Humboldtforum.
- Friedrichswerdersche Kirche (free admission) with a collection of 19th-century German sculptures.
- Gemäldegalerie with its collection of German and Dutch Old Masters and Italian paintings.
- Kunstgewerbemuseum (Decorative Arts).
- Musical Instruments Museum near the Berliner Philharmonie.
- Neue Nationalgalerie with early 20th-century art and Alexander Calder exhibitions.
- Neues Museum with bust of Nefertiti.
- Pergamon Museum with Ishtar Gate — the whole Pergamonmuseum will be closed from 23 October 2023 until 2027.
- Pergamon Museum Panorama Exhibition with Asisi panoramic painting and Greek statues.
- Photography — Helmut Newton collection and historic photos.
Previous Temporary Exhibitions:
- Top Special Temporary Exhibitions in 2022 — overview, in the Kulturforum (David Hockney), in the Neue Nationalgalerie, on Museumsinsel, Hamburger Bahnhof contemporary art, and the Museum of Photography.
- Top Special Temporary Exhibitions in 2021 — including the reopening of the Neue Nationalgalerie, as well as the Ethnological and Asian Art Museums in the Humboldt Forum.
- Top Special Exhibitions in 2020: Highlights, in Kulturforum, on Museum Island, in the Hamburger Bahnhof, smaller museums, and the opening of the Humboldt Forum in December.