Museum of Photography

The Tallinn Museum of Photography tells the history of the industry and also showcases the work of Estonian photographers. The permanent exhibition is made up of photos taken between 1840 and 1940. Also in the museum you can look at antique devices.

History of the Tallinn Museum of Photography

Tallinn Photography Museum was founded in 1980. Its exposition was built around the photo archive of the Tallinn City Museum, of which it is a branch. The museum occupies the former Town Hall Prison, thereby combining the Middle Ages with the youngest form of visual art.

The prison building was built in the 14th century, and the city museum’s photo archive was moved here in 1983. The exhibition was created taking into account the development of photography on a global scale, but without exception all the images belong to the Tallinn collection. It makes it possible to trace the development of the artistic and technical discipline until 1940.

In the last century Tallinn was considered one of the leading cities in the development of photography. Various photographic equipment used by artists of the early 20th century is on display on the second floor of the museum. Here you can find both massive studio cameras and miniature cameras, including a joint Estonian-Latvian development – the Minox camera.

On the first floor of the museum, the emphasis is on finished photographs. You can follow the development of photography in Estonia. At the end of the main exhibition is a small room for temporary exhibitions that from time to time displays thematic photos from the archives of the city museum.

Museum of Photography on the map of Tallinn

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Interesting facts

  • The Tallinn Museum of Photography is very popular among aspiring photographers. After all, only by studying the work of past masters as well as following the work of colleagues can you reach the heights of your craft.
  • A visit to the Fotomuseum also allows you to visit a house built in the Middle Ages.
  • In Tallinn’s Telliskivi quarter there is another photo museum, Fotografiska. The Fotografiska is another photo museum in Tallinn’s Telliskivi Quarter.