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The PhotoBookMuseum


While the 48th edition of the Art Cologne international fair was being held from April 10th to 13th, 2014, not far and along the same bank of the Rhine, Europe’s first museum devoted to photography books was being readied to open in Cologne-Mülheim.

Behind the PhotoBookMuseum is Markus Schaden and his team ( Foundation), the founding members and donors who have been working for months in preparation for the August 19th opening, which will coincide with the 175th anniversary of the invention of photography.

Schaden has been a bookseller and publisher, a curator, teacher and member of several juries promoting photo books. He thought it was time for an institution devoted to the photobook itself. More photobooks have been published in the last ten years than in the 170 previous years combined. Martin Parr and many others collect them like rare gems, and modern art museums have been adding them to their collections.

From August 19th to October 3rd, 2014, The PhotoBookMuseum will offer a dense and attractive program of exhibition and events in a magnificent Carlswerk warehouse, a former cable factory, in Cologne. Some are projects that have already appeared on, while others have been newly organized with institutions (FH Dortmund, Lichtblick School) and international festivals (Internationale Photoszene Köln, Fotobookfestival Kassel).

The museum intends to remain open, mostly online, but it has already defined itself as a traveling museum. The program at the warehouse in Carlswerk is temporary. In 2015, the contents of the museum will be loaded onto containers and sent down the Rhine towards other destinations, in search of a permanent home.

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