The best photography galleries in NYC

From Fifth Avenue to The Bowery, we’ve lined up the ten essential photography galleries in New York City
Photograph: Susan Sermoneta
By Howard Halle |
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Among artistic mediums, photography is a relatively recent arrival. Though invented in the mid-19th century, it wasn’t elevated to an art form until the 20th-century. Since then, its major practitioners have seen their works enter the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other major NYC institutions. Just as important are the many individual galleries devoted to photography, which range all over the city from Chelsea and Midtown to the Upper and Lower East Side. Whether you have a taste for the contemporary or the classic, these showcases for camera art have something for everyone. We’ve selected the ten best among NYC photography galleries to put on your gallery-going list.

Best photography galleries in NYC

1
Photograph: Jen Rodewald
Art, Galleries

Aperture Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Founded in 1952, the Aperture Foundation runs this exhibition showcase as part of its longstanding mission to promote photography as a fine-art form. Countless photographers, including the medium’s biggest names, have shown their work here over the decades.

2
Photograph: Susan Sermoneta
Art, Galleries

Bonni Benrubi Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Since its start in 1987, this gallery devoted to 20th Century and contemporary photography, has migrated from the Upper East Side to Midtown, Soho and finally Chelsea, where it has settled into its most expansive home yet.

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3
Photograph: Courtesy Danziger Gallery
Art, Photography

Danziger Gallery

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

James Danziger’s namesake gallery has been in business since 1989 and is notable for a smart, elegant exhibition program that has presented photographic works by Abelardo Morell, Richard Misrach and Chuck Close among many, many others. After sojourns in Soho and Chelsea, the gallery moved to its current location on the Lower East Side in 2016.

4
Photograph: Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery
Art, Galleries

Howard Greenberg Gallery

icon-location-pin Midtown East

Founded in 1981 Howard Greenberg Gallery focuses on classic 20th-century photography including works by such giants of the medium as Berenice Abbott, Edward Steichen and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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5
Photograph: Courtesy International Center of Photography
Things to do, Schools and universities

International Center of Photography School

icon-location-pin Midtown West

The International Center of Photography is New York’s preeminent institution devoted exclusively to photography. Founded in 1974, ICP originally opened in the Willard Straight House on Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile. The building’s sale in 1999 precipitated a move to a midtown address on Sixth Avenue. In 2016, the ICP moved yet again to a new home on the Bowery. In addition to exhibition space, the ICP boasts a library housing thousands of biographical and photographic files, and a school (which currently remains at the midtown location until 2018).

6
Photograph: Courtesy Pace/MacGill
Art, Galleries

Pace/MacGill

icon-location-pin Midtown East

Part of Pace Gallery empire, Pace/MacGill, focuses on photography, showing such established names as Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Irving Penn.

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7
Photograph: Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery
Art, Galleries

Yossi Milo Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Yossi Milo’s impressive roster of international camera talent encompasses emerging artists who are building a following, as well as more established photographers. Look out for striking and innovative work by Tierney Gearon, Philippe Gronon and Pieter Hugo.

8
Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Photograph: Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Art, Galleries

Bruce Silverstein Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

While this contemporary art gallery, which opened in 2001, isn't exclusively devoted to photography, photographers—including such stellar names as Lisette Model, André Kertész and Paul Outerbridge—make up a significant portion of its roster.

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9
Photograph: Susan Sermoneta
Art, Galleries

Edwynn Houk Gallery

icon-location-pin Midtown East

This swank midtown gallery on Fifth Avenue is a leading showcase for contemporary and modern photography. It has another location in Zürich and exhibits major talents from Sally Mann to Via Muniz.

10
Photograph: Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery
Art, Galleries

Julie Saul Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Opened in 1986, this Chelsea gallery focuses on contemporary photography, but has also exhibited a few artists working in other mediums. Even so, it’s an essential stop for photo lovers.

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