Huis Marseille, photography, Museum, Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s Huis Marseille is not of this world. It comprises two labyrinthine, 17th century canal houses, which fascinate through their sense of history, their intricate light and shadow, and oceans of sun-dappled space. I come here regularly but not for the pictures…


Huis Marseille took its name from the original building in which it is housed. It was built in around 1665 for the French merchant Isaac Focquier, who added a stone tablet of a map of Marseille to its imposing facade. Although Focquier was forced to sell the house by 1676, this stone has survived to this very day. Moreover, the original seventeenth-century layout of the house—consisting of a front segment, a courtyard, a back segment and a garden—is still largely intact.

Photography and Huis Marseille

Huis Marseille opts for photography that focuses on a specific visual language and is characterised by a passionate spirit of inquiry. It focuses on work that has not only social relevance and but also interfaces with the changing spirit of the times.

Huis Marseille as an exhibition space

Huis Marseille is the opposite of a white cube: the fact that the museum is housed in two monumental 17th century canal houses is of great influence on the ‘organic’ way in which the exhibitions in the various spaces are experienced. At the same time, these authentic rooms are so clear and open that the appearance of photographic works by itself is not hinderedbut enhanced. The majority of the exhibitions in Huis Marseille are developed and produced especially for these spaces.