Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

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Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
Three-story building in grey stone with the text "Anno 1861." on the facade
Museum at the Keizersgracht in 2011
Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam is located in Amsterdam
Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
Location in the city center of Amsterdam
Established 13 December 2001 (2001-12-13)
Location Keizersgracht 609[1]
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Coordinates 52°21′50″N 4°53′37″E / 52.36389°N 4.89361°E / 52.36389; 4.89361Coordinates: 52°21′50″N 4°53′37″E / 52.36389°N 4.89361°E / 52.36389; 4.89361
Type Photography museum
Visitors 210,000 (2011)[2]
Director Marloes Krijnen[3]
President Leontine van der Goes-Hijmans[3]
Curator Marcel Feil[3]Kim Knoppers[3]
Mirjam Kooiman[3]Zippora Elders[3]
Public transit access Keizersgracht
Tram lines 16 and 24[1]

Foam or Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam is a photography museum located at the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The museum has four different exhibitions at any given time in which different photographic genres are shown, such as documentary, art and fashion. Next to large exhibitions by well-known photographers, Foam also shows the work of young and upcoming photographers, in shorter running exhibitions.

Two notable shows were Henri Cartier-Bresson - A Retrospective, work by Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Richard Avedon - Photographs 1946 -2004, a major retrospective of Richard Avedon. In summer 2016 Foam presented a major Helmut Newton retrospective exhibition.

The museum contains a café, a library, a commercial gallery called FoamEditions and a bookshop. The museum also publishes a quarterly photography magazine called Foam Magazine.


Design of Museum Fodor

The building on the Keizersgracht canal in which Foam is located has a history dating back to Carel Joseph Fodor (1801–1860). Fodor first bought Keizersgracht 611, and later also bought the adjacent warehouse and residential house at Keizersgracht 609. Fodor destined the warehouse in his testament as the exhibition space that should receive the name Museum Fodor. Between 1863 and 1994, Museum Fodor was open to the public. Between 1994 and 2001 the Nederlands Vormgevingsinstituut was located in these buildings.


Foam received permission in November 2001 from the city council for the start-up. On December 13, 2001, Foam opened its first exhibition Dutch Delight. More than 7000 people visited the exhibition in which Dutch light played a prominent or self-evident role.

After the opening exhibition the museum closed for renovation. Architects BenthemCrouwel turned three buildings at the Keizersgracht into a modern museum. The first exhibition in the new museum, was called Regie: Paul Huf, Paul Huf together with Eva Besnyö being the originator of the museum. The official opening took place on June 6, 2002. The exhibition was visited by approximately 8000 people.

Exhibition policy[edit]

Every year Foam organises four large exhibitions by particularly notable photographers, usually running for about three months. In conjunction about 16 shorter running exhibitions are organised by the museum, which can be very different in character: either the work of relatively young photographers, or a specific project, work that is currently relevant, small retrospectives or the presentation of new developments within the medium. Emphasis is generally on documentary photography, street photography, portrait and glamour photography, and young and upcoming talents.

Documentary photography exhibitions at Foam have included Avenue Patrice Lumumba by Guy Tillim, The Hyena & Other Men by Pieter Hugo, In the Shadow of Things by Leonie Purchas, and Calais - From Jungle to City by Henk Wildschut. Street photography exhibitions have included Helen Levitt's In the Street, a retrospective by Weegee and Tom Wood’s Photieman. Portrait or glamour exhibitions have included Photographs 1946-2004 by Richard Avedon, Chemises by Malick Sidibé, and People of the 20th Century by August Sander. Under the denominator Foam_3h small shows by young photographers are presented in the Foam library. Recent examples include Control by Emilie Hudig and A Place to Wash the Heart by Monieka Bielskyte.

Foam Paul Huf Award[edit]

Since 2007, Foam has been organising the Paul Huf Award, a prize that is awarded to a young, talented photographer under the age of 35.[4] The award was at one time known as the KLM Paul Huf Award.

Foam Magazine[edit]

Foam Magazine is a photography magazine published three times a year around a specific theme.[5]


  1. ^ a b Visitor Information, Foam. Retrieved on 9 August 2014.
  2. ^ (in Dutch) Recordjaar voor Amsterdamse musea, NOS Nieuws, 2012. Retrieved on 9 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Organisation, Foam. Retrieved on 9 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Foam Paul Huf Award". Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Strecker, Alexander. "Expand Your Vision: Lessons from Foam Magazine - Interview with Elisa Medde, Foam Magazine's Managing Editor". LensCulture. Retrieved 2018-06-26. 

External links[edit]