New Ways of Seeing
6/30/2021–10/24/2021

The Photography of the 1920s and ’30s

Exhibition

About the Exhibition

German photography from the 1920s and ‘30s oscillates between innovation and continuity. Not unaffected by the incisive social upheavals after the end of the First World War, unusual perspectives, different styles and contrasts became the means of expressing the changed living situations and political landscape. From 30 June to 24 October 2021, the Städel Museum is mounting the exhibition on the trends and movements in modern photography. It presents a selection of about 100 pioneering photographs from the Städel’s own collection of photography, which comprises more than 5,000 images, and loans of works by prominent representatives such as Alfred Ehrhardt, Hans Finsler, Lotte Jacobi, Felix H. Man, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Erich Salomon, August Sander, Umbo, Paul Wolff or Yva as well as a number of lesser known photographers, such as Carl Albiker, Karl Theodor Gremmler and Paul W. John.
Between 1918 and 1939, photography influenced the art world and everyday life like in no other period. In seven thematic chapters, essential aspects of the artistic engagement with photography and its use in various contexts of use will be presented in the entire spectrum of their motifs. Historical magazines, books and posters complement the photographic works and exemplify their use in different media. The 1920s offered photographers numerous new areas of activity, from the illustration of magazines and books to advertising design. Yet this was not the only way of using photography that paved the way for its strong presence in public space. As a seemingly authentic reflection of reality, political movements also recognised it as a means of acquiring and controlling the masses. The new ways of seeing with the camera that developed in the Weimar Republic were seamlessly taken over after 1933. Unlike the vilification of the avant-garde in the visual arts, there were no artistic restrictions in photography – modern imagery had already firmly established itself in visual memory and was used in the National Socialist state for propagandistic purposes.

Curator: Kristina Lemke (Head of Photography from Modernism to the Present)
Supported by: FAZIT-STIFTUNG, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung, Dr. Hans Feith und Dr. Elisabeth Feith-Stiftung

Gallery

  • + More
    Hans Robertson, Dancer Harald Kreutzberg, 1925

    Hans Robertson (1883–1950)
    Dancer Harald Kreutzberg, 1925
    Silver gelatin photographic paper
    23,4 × 17,1 cm
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    Foto: Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

  • + More
    Umbo, Wintry Forest (Grunewald, Berlin), 1935

    Umbo Wintry Forest (Grunewald, Berlin), 1935
    Silver gelatin photographic paper
    24,2 × 24,2 cm
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    © Umbo: Phyllis Umbehr / Galerie Kicken Berlin / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021
    Photo: Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

  • + More
    Yva, Travel and Sailor suit, ca. 1932

    Yva (1900–1944)
    Travel and Sailor suit, ca. 1932
    Silver gelatin photographic paper
    23,1 × 16,6 cm
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    Photo: Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

  • + More
    Hans Finsler, Cup, Saucer and Plate, 1931

    Hans Finsler (1891–1972)
    Cup, Saucer and Plate, 1931
    Gelatin silver print on baryta paper
    16,4 × 22,9 cm
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Eigentum des Städelschen Museums-Vereins e.V.
    © Estate Hans Finsler
    Photo: Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

  • + More
    Fred Koch, Dandelion, Taraxacum officinalis, 1933–1935

    Fred Koch (1904–1947) / Folkwang-Archiv
    Dandelion, Taraxacum officinalis, 1933–1935
    Silver gelatin print on baryta paper
    23,4 × 17,2 cm
    Joint property with Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V., Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    Photo: Städel Museum

  • + More
    August Sander, The Painter Otto Dix and his Wife Martha, 1925/26

    August Sander (1867–1964)
    The Painter Otto Dix and his Wife Martha, 1925/26
    Silver Gelatin Print on baryta paper
    18 × 18,8 cm
    Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V., Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    © Die Photographische Sammlung / Sk Stiftung Kultur – August Sander Archiv, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

Follow us

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.