20 Years F.C. Gundlach Foundation

20 years of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation
... big plans for the next 20 years 

The F.C. Gundlach Foundation has been active in photography for 20 years.
"With expertise and a sense of proportion, we promote the perception of photography as a cultural asset, in Hamburg and far beyond," says Sebastian Lux, director of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation. "We advise, curate, lift treasures from archives, send images and entire exhibitions to museums around the world. We do all this in the spirit of our founder, the photographer F.C. Gundlach, whose prolific output itself unites many aspects of the wonderfully diverse medium of photography."

Photography has defined F.C. Gundlach's life: as a photographer, gallery owner, collector, teacher, museum director, benefactor, and patron. His activities have contributed significantly to the fact that the city of Hamburg is today internationally perceived as a city of photography and photographers. In order to secure his life's work and his extensive collection in perpetuity, he established the F.C. Gundlach Foundation in 2000.

"In my opinion, there is indeed something like a moral obligation of the collector to make parts of his collection or its entirety public.
For me, I have decided to put my archive and my collection into a foundation so that they will be continued in my sense. So they are preserved as a living organism, and can respond to social changes, trends and contingencies."       F.C. Gundlach

With the oeuvre of the photographer F.C. Gundlach, with his collection of photographic art, and finally with the image archives of other important photographers, the F.C. Gundlach Foundation thus has no less than three extensive archive holdings of photographic works and materials.

In 2003, F.C. Gundlach was appointed founding director of the House of Photography by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. This created an innovative platform for the examination of the medium of photography in the Deichtorhallen and the most important partner for the F.C. Gundlach Foundation. Here, the F.C. Gundlach Collection not only found a location as a permanent loan, but is also repeatedly integrated into projects of the house. 

A large number of exhibitions and publications in museums and institutions around the world have since presented the holdings of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation to the public and made them internationally known. These include well-traveled exhibition tours such as 'Martin Munkacsi - Think while you shoot' (2005 - 2012) as well as the rediscovery of an amateur photographer's glass negatives under the title 'Fish, Vegetables, Securities. Fide Struck photographs Hamburg 1930-1933 ' at the Altonaer Museum in 2020.

"This success story has only been made possible by our cooperation partners and a network of contacts in the international photography scene. To all of them, to our audience and of course to our benefactor F.C. Gundlach, we owe our heartfelt thanks!", says Sebastian Lux, "We look forward to continuing to show large and small exhibitions and photo books of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation in museums and institutions around the world in the next 20 years. We will continue to make current photography visible to the public and rediscover historical positions for a broad audience."

The F.C. Gundlach Foundation has also made a name for itself as a contact for dealing with photographic archives. With the image archives of photographers such as Wilfried Bauer, F.C. Gundlach, Peter Keetman and Toni Schneiders, as well as the expected archive of Walter Schels, the F.C. Gundlach Foundation already looks after significant works. Further archives are to be included in a targeted manner. An important partner in this is the Deutsche Fotothek Dresden, with which Archiv der Fotografen was jointly founded in 2012. The F.C. Gundlach Foundation sees working with estates and life's works as a major task for its future.

The program for the coming year begins with a gallery exhibition of F.C. Gundlach's work at noirblanche in Düsseldorf. The exhibition "Photography in the Weimar Republic" will be on view at the International Cultural Center Krakow starting in April and at the Peter-Behrens-Bau Oberhausen starting in August. The retrospective "Look here! Toni Schneiders" will make a stop at the Kunstmuseum Singen starting in June, and the Stadtmuseum Schleswig will show the exhibition "A Day Off" with works from the F.C. Gundlach Collection starting in May.

Exhibitions F.C. Gundlach (Auswahl)
‚Die Pose als Körpersprache‘ – Moscow House of Photography 2001 u.a.O.
‚Bilder machen Mode‘ – Neue Galerie des Joanneums Graz 2004
‚F.C. Gundlach. Das fotografische Werk‘ – Haus der Photographie Hamburg 2008 u.a.O.
‚500.000 Meilen – Mit F.C. Gundlach um die Welt‘ – Photobastei Zürich 2019

Exhibitions Collection F.C. Gundlach (Auswahl)
‚Mode - Körper - Mode‘, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg 2001
‚A Clear Vision‘, Haus der Photographie Hamburg 2004
‚Vanity‘, Kunsthalle Wien 2011 u.a.O.

Exhibition Cooperations (Auswahl)
‚Martin Munkacsi - Think while you shoot‘, Haus der Photographie Hamburg 2005 u.a.O.
‘Esther’s World. Fotografien von Esther Haase‘, ABTART Stuttgart 2018
‘Fotografie in der Weimarer Republik‘, LandesMuseum Bonn 2019

Exhibitions Archives
‚Wilfried Bauer. Be Poetic‘, Der Spiegel 2015
‚Peter Keetman. Gestaltete Welt‘, Museum Folkwang 2016 u.a.O.
‚Die Fotografin Leonore Mau – Von Hamburg in die Welt‘, Jenisch Haus Hamburg 2016
‚Schaut her! Toni Schneiders‘, Kunstfoyer München 2020