Brandts mission is to present new and classic art alongside visual culture. Brandts facilitates art and creates experiences that change people and give pride to Odense and resonate in the rest of the country.
The museum is a former textiles factory, Brandts Klædefabrik, which produced fabrics for uniforms and others uses until it closed in 1977. For a few years the buildings were left empty until a private initiative convinced Odense Municipality that they were well suited for the establishment of an international arts center. Early on it was decided that the center should include a venue for photographic art.
The museum was founded as Museet for Fotokunst on 13 September 1985. It opened its own exhibition space in 1987. The following year – with its affiliated institutions Kunsthallen and Danmarks Grafiske Museum, they win the title of European Museum of the Year. In 1992 the museum was state-approved and in 2000 Odense Foto Triennial was introduced with the museum as the driving force. This has later developed into the Fuenen Festival of Photography. In 2006 the museum received the Danish Museum of the Year award.