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Concept and History

The promotion of photography as a cultural asset is the main purpose of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation. Exhibitions, publications and projects are part of our activities as well as scientific research projects in the field of photography. The F.C. Gundlach Foundation, based in Hamburg, was founded on 8. March 2000 as a non-profit, legal foundation under the civil code.

Formation of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation

Since its formation in the year 2000, the F.C. Gundlach Foundation cares for the F.C. Gundlach Collection and the photographic work of its founder. These have been catalogued according to the tenets of fine arts, stored in appropriate conservational depots and made accessible to the public through considerable publications and a variety of exhibitions in prominent museums at home and abroad.

Formation of the House of Photography

Ideal conditions for constant dealings with the portfolio of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation were created with the formation of the House of Photography in the Deichtorhallen in 2003 and the permanent loan of the F.C. Gundlach Collection to the ‘Image of Man in Photography’.

The southern hall was designed especially to house photographic exhibitions. Under the direction of F.C. Gundlach the library and the auditorium were built, an architectural opening of the house to the Deichtorplatz made available and a photographic bookshop and the new restaurant »Fillet of Soul« moved in. Exhibitions such as ‘Corpus Christi’ (2003), ‘Martin Parr’ (2004), ‘Hubert Fichte and Leonore Mau. Der Schriftsteller und die Fotografin’ (The writer and the photographer, 2005) and ‘Martin Munkacsi - Think while you shoot’ (2005) got the House of Photography off the ground conceptually and programmatically. It has been a close co-operation partner of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation ever since.

For the permanent loan to the House of Photography, as well as for the omnibus volumes remaining with the F.C. Gundlach Foundation, a specialised climate controlled storage facility was organised in close proximity to the House of Photography. Thus a common archive at the entrance to HafenCity was found that joins what belongs together, creates an overview and makes the unity of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation and the permanent loan of the F.C. Gundlach Collection to the ‘Image of Man in Photography’ in the House of Photography spatially obvious.

The F.C. Gundlach Library, with more than 5000 volumes, which is the last part of the permanent loan, moved into the House of Photography at the end of 2008. It is open to the public two days a week as a reference library.

Collection and Work

The exhibitions ‘The Heartbeat of Fashion. Sammlung F.C. Gundlach’ (F.C. Gundlach Collection) and ‘F.C. Gundlach. Das fotografische Werk’ (The Photographic Work) introduced a current selection of the collection and photographic work of the founder, which attracted broad interest and were well received by the press. Extensive book projects accompanied the exhibitions.

A variety of smaller exhibits, loans to exhibitions and publications on a broad basis raised the level of awareness of these two most important elements of the Foundation in recent years. Lectures, symposia, texts and events of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation and its employees promoted the photo-historic discussion in general and the dealings with the portfolio of the Foundation in particular.

Exhibition Tours

The F.C. Gundlach Foundation organzied the tour of the ‘Martin Munkacsi. Think while you shoot’ exhibition from Hamburg to Berlin, New York, San Francisco, Moscow and Budapest (there Spring 2011), mediated the exhibition ‘The Heartbeat of Fashion’ to the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf and the exhibition ‘F.C. Gundlach. Das fotografische Werk’ into the Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin (start 20th November 2009). This established the F.C. Gundlach Foundation as the leading operator of exclusive photographic projects and a partner to prominent museums.

Today the positioning of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation and its cooperation with the House of Photography offer an ideal combination to implement the purpose and aim of the Foundation: The promotion of photography as a cultural asset in all aspects, restoration and presentation of the portfolio of the Foundation as well as scientific discussion of photographic questions.