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*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Johannesburg Zoo, Hillbrow Tower, Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, SAB World of Beer, Moyo Restaurants, Satyagraha House, Constitution Hill, Brenthurst Gardens, Apartheid Museum, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, Radium Beer Hall, ABSA Art Gallery, The Bag Factory, Oriental Plaza, Standard Bank Gallery, Rand Easter Show, MuseuMAfricA
Located in downtown Johannesburg’s creative space Newtown, the Bensusan Photographic Museum showcases a vast collection of photography equipment and takes visitors through the history of photography over the centuries. The museum is housed on the top floor of the MuseuMAfricA building.
The Bensusan Photographic Museum is named after past Johannesburg mayor Dr Arthur David Bensusan, an avid collector of photographic equipment and books, and an enthusiastic amateur photographer himself. Bensusan was the founder of the Photographic Society of South Africa and in 1969 he donated his vast collection of over 2000 books, including 2 of his own publications, more than 5000 photographs and hundreds of cameras and accessories to the city in order to open the museum. A notable item from his collection is a camera once owned by Winston Churchill.
The collection includes old glass-plate prints, holographs and other fascinating displays. A 3D display contains photographs of early Johannesburg while the Alhazen’s Light Room visually explains the complexities of light in an entertaining way. The onsite reference library is a goldmine for any budding photographer and publications are available on loan to registered members. The library is open for a few hours between Tuesday and Saturday, contact the museum to get opening times.
Regular photo and film exhibitions and workshops happen here and displays are often rotated to hold the interest of returning visitors.
The museum shows much of our heritage in an artistic fashion, and whether the subject matter is pleasing or morose, one can’t help but admire the photographer’s talent and creativity.
The wheelchair friendly Bensusan Photographic Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday between 9h00 and 17h00 and is on the city bus route.