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

The Photography of the 1920s and ’30s

The photography of the 1920s and ’30s bore a considerable influence on the art world and everyday life alike. The exhibition takes as its point of departure the establishment of photography in technical and art academy curricula. From there, it fans out to explore many different areas of application – from the use of the medium in advertising and the press to its political functionalization –, thus also shedding light on photography’s instrumental character.

Please note

Exhibition

About the Exhibition

The Weimar Republic (1918–1933) was an era of great innovation in modern photography. There was a growing demand for press and advertising images—and numerous photographers to cater to it. Their works also appeared in elaborate photo books they published on their own initiative. One catalyst for these developments was the advent of the 35mm camera in the 1920s, an invention permitting unprecedented freedom of movement. Unusual perspectives, steep-angled views from above and below, and close-ups of details testify to a new enthusiasm for photographic experimentation. This modern aesthetic came to be known as Neues Sehen (New Ways of Seeing), a catchword that can be understood as a call for a new visual approach on the part of the photographer and the viewer alike. Pictorial language now became clearer, more direct, and in many cases more linear. In its matter-of-fact rigour it corresponded to the needs of a society that, after the disaster of World War I, had come to favour realistic depiction.

From 30 June to 24 October 2021, the Städel Museum will shed light on modern photography’s wide-ranging trends. In an introduction and seven theme-oriented sections, the exhibition “New Ways of Seeing: The Photography of the 1920s and ’30s” will convey an impression of the medium’s various uses in the interwar period. Some of the works on view will also offer visual presentiments of the 1930s, in which the Nazis increasingly instrumentalized photography as a means of communication for political propaganda purposes. The show’s themes will encompass photography’s establishment at vocational training institutes and art academies, photographic illustration and photojournalism, the employment of photography in science and research, portrait photography, and the use of the medium in advertising, industry, and political propaganda. Historical magazines, photo books, and posters will supplement the works on view.

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

Worth knowing

Worth knowing

The show’s themes
  • Photography’s establishment at vocational training institutes and art academies
  • Photographic illustration and photojournalism
  • Photography in science and research
  • Portrait photography
  • Use of the medium in advertising, industry, and political propaganda

Historical magazines, photo books, and posters will supplement the works on view.

The photographers

Carl Albiker // Gertrud Arndt // Atelier Manassé // Ilse Bing // Karl Blossfeldt // Margaret Bourke-White // Walter Dexel // Hugo Erfurth // Alfred Erhardt // T. Lux Feininger // Hans Finsler // Trude Fleischmann // Max Göllner // Hein Gorny // Karl Theodor Gremmler // Elisabeth Hase // Walter Hege // Heinrich Hoffmann // Lotte Jacobi // Paul W. John // Fred Koch // Max Krajewski // Stefan Kruckenhauser // Karl Krüger // Adolf Lazi // Erna Lendvai-Dircksen // Helmar Lerski // Madame d'Ora // Felix H. Man // Lucia Moholy // Martin Munkácsi // Max Peiffer Watenphul // Georgij Petrussow // Albert Renger-Patzsch // Hans Retzlaff // Hans Robertson // Alexander Rodtschenko // Werner Rohde // Lothar Rübelt // Erich Salomon // August Sander //Arkadi Schaichet // Max Schirner // Hugo Schmölz // Fritz Schreiber // Herbert Schürmann // Friedrich Seidenstücker // Anton Stankowski // Sasha und Cami Stone // Wolf Strache // Carl Strüwe // Umbo (Otto Umbehr) // Hans Volger // Kurt Warnekros // Paul Wolff // Yva // Hannelore Ziegler // Willi Zielke

Gallery

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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