Situated at 46 Rue Ahal Fassi, the Marrakech Museum of Photography is a little gem of a visitor attraction albeit one that is too often overlooked by tourists due to its slightly out of the way location on one of the narrow streets of the northern Marrakech medina.
About the Marrakech Museum of Photography
First opened to the public in 2009, this privately owned museum is designed to display the extraordinary diversity of Morocco as recorded by famous and not-so-famous visitors to the city from the beginnings of photography right up to modern times. As an ever-growing archive on Marrakech it also represents a history of ‘architecture and ideas’
The museum’s collection of treasures includes photographs (some of which date back to the 1870s), postcards and glass plates, maps, newspapers and documentaries. In addition, visitors can arrange visits to the museum’s library, request to see films and/or organise conferences.
Available films include, for example:
- “With the High Atlas Berbers” – directed by Daniel Chicault (Morocco) in 1957, this first colour documentary of the Seksawa tribe was produced to create a better understanding of the tribe’s culture and history. The film is continuously broadcast at the Ourika Eco-museum in the Atlas foothills.
- “Gnawa Beyond Music” – produced by Jacques Willemont, this film explores the Gnawa culture beyond its widely known musical persona.
- “Al Halqa” – this 2002 Thomas Landenburger documentary focuses on Marrakech’s most famous square, the Jemaa El Fna, with its snake charmers, oral storytellers, street vendors and more.
Partnered with various cultural institutions, the Marrakech Photography Museum not only organises themed exhibitions on its own premises but mounts travelling exhibitions for schools and other organisations.
As a growing archive the museum regularly acquires new material to increase the scope of its exhibitions. Some of the latest (2015) acquisitions include:
- A large set of high quality photographs by Felix Fernand Bidon Said (1883 – 1963), a Jewish grinder who lived and worked in Marrakech for around 50 years. The set comprises a series of portraits of traditional trades in Marrakech.
- A portfolio of work by Pierre Boucher taken during his 1936 visit to Morocco. His work can be seen in the “Alliance Photo” exhibition running to April next year.
- The “Hugues Aufort Fund”, a remarkable postcard collection from their first appearance to postcards of the 1960s.
- Medersas Morocco, a remarkable set of 70 high quality heliogravures by Charles Terrace (1924).
Opening Times and More
The museum is open every day from 09:30 to 19:00. It also has a delightful rooftop terrace bar with drinks and a lunch menu and terrific views over the city.