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PHOTOMUSEUM, Museum of Photography (and Cinema) of Zarautz


Don’t look for the Spanish photography museum in Barcelona, ​​Madrid or Bilbao. Even if these last two cities made soft eyes to it to move, the museum of the Spanish image is located at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, in full Guipuzcoa, one of the four provinces of the Southern Basque Country.

If you walk around Zarautz, a charming seaside resort in the Spanish Basque Country, known by surfers for having the longest beach on the Cantabrian coast, you may be surprised by coming face to face with a stele with the name of … Daguerre. One of the inventors of photography who is well honored a few meters further on, in the Villa Manuela, a solid four-storey cubic building, made available by the municipality, headquarters of the Photomuseum since 1993.

The geographical origin of its presence here comes from the meeting of two collections of photographic equipments and archives, belonging to Ramon Serras and Leopoldo Zugaza, passionate locals, who donated them with the aim of creating a museum. Starting in  1992, the municipality of Zarautz made part of the building available to the project initiators, where the foundations of the future institution were presented as well as several exhibitions by recognized artists in various halls of the city; among others, Joan Fontcuberta, Cristina Zelich, Humberto Rivas, Walter Reuter and the archives of the Kutxa Foundation, partner of the establishment.

Now occupying the entire building, the museum can be visited from the top, and discovered going down. On the fourth floor, therefore, the beginnings of photography, research on the mobility of the image, the library and the administration.

The third brings together the various photographic techniques, from the Daguerreotype to instant photography, to the latest digital cameras. The various genres or families of images are classified in second place, still life, portraits, landscapes, visual arts, etc.

On the first floor you will find the social function of images, in the press, the sciences or the visual arts, as well as a projection room. The temporary exhibitions follow one another in the space on the ground floor.

The objectives of the instigators of the museum of photography and cinema of Zarautz seem fully fulfilled, the museum is busy in the acquisition and conservation of the material required for the production of images, in the development of this art, in its discovery through guided tours in several languages, and its various functions as an information or creative tool. Collaborating with other cultural and educational organizations, the Photomuseum remains faithful to the wishes of its first two donors, and to their region of origin, and we can only recommend a visit.

Jean-Jacques Ader


PHOTOMUSEUM, San Ignacio 11, ZARAUTZ – Guipuzkoa Tel. 943 13 09 06



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