Reinhart Wolf
Life and Work

Reinhart Wolf (1930-1988) was influential in advertising, design and especially food photography in the sixties, seventies and eighties. He was a founding member and president of the Art Director's Club in Germany and New York and winner of the Culture Prize of the German Society for Photography. With his series of works on the architecture of castillos in Spain, skyscrapers in New York and brick buildings in Hamburg, he found his way into the museum scene. His work has been honoured in a number of solo and group exhibitions around the world.

As early as 2013, around 13,000 slides were brought into the Archive of Photographers at the Deutsche Fotothek Dresden as Reinhart Wolf's estate, where more than 600 motifs were made digitally visible. The close cooperation between the F.C. Gundlach Foundation and the Deutsche Fotothek ensures the joint work with the oeuvre of Reinhart Wolf, which is reactivated for posterity in projects and exhibitions from the photographic estate.


  • 1 August 1930: born in Berlin

  • 1950/51: scholarship Wabash College, Crawfordsvill; encounter with photographs by Irving Penn, Edward Weston and Yousuf Karsh

  • attends the A. Schwoerer photography school in Hamburg, followed by a one-year stay in Paris, where he takes portraits of painters and sculptors such as Fernand Léger, Hans Arp and Max Ernst in their studios

  • 1954: appointed member of the GDL (Society of German Photographers)

  • 1956: master's examination at the Bavarian State School of Photography, Munich

  • 1956: founds her own studio and connects with her own film company in Hamburg

  • 1956: start of cooperation with Germany's first partner agency Team (Die kleine Sünde Praline, 1966)

  • development of a broad spectrum in the pioneering era of advertising; car photographs for Daimler Benz and Volkswagen as well as product photographs for Henkel and Reemtsma and for the German Federal Railways

  • 1969: construction of a studio house according to his own designs

  • 1969: various commissions for the magazines stern (including the Stern-Küche section) and GEO

  • 1969: photographs of the brick building of the Schröderstift in Hamburg; begins freelance work as an architectural photographer 

  • 1970 onwards: advertising work for Tchibo and König Pilsener

  • 1975/76: appointed president of the Art Directors Club (founding member)

  • 1976: publication of own architectural pictures in Camera

  • 1977: invitation by the Polaroid Corporation to America; creation of the series Faces of Buildings

  • 1978/79: the series New York is published in the American GEO and the stern magazine

  • 1979: trip to Japan

  • 1981/82: the series Castles in Spain is commissioned by the stern magazine

  • 1982: photographs of the ballet festival at the Hamburg State Opera under the direction of John Neumeier

  • 1984: trip to China 

  • 1986: another trip to Japan

  • teaches in Hamburg at the Academy of Art and Master School of Fashion

  • 10 November 1988: died in Hamburg

Solo Exhibitions / Selection

  • 1954: Amerikahaus Bremen

  • 1956: Bookshop Helmut v.d. Höh

  • 1972: SPECTRUM Gallery, Hanover

  • 1976: Faces of Buildings at the Photokina in Cologne

  • 1977: Faces of Buldings at the gallery of Bernd Lange-Irschl, Munich

  • 1980: Editions du Moniteur, Paris/ Gallery Levy, Hamburg

  • 1983: Gallery Pro Photo, Nuremberg

  • 1984: Photography Forum Frankfurt/PPS Gallery, Hamburg

  • 1987: Art Association of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf/Photomuseum in the Munich City Museum

Publications / Selection

  • Faces and Facades, Plaraoid Corporation, Cambridge USA, 1977

  • Facesof Buildings, J.H. Schmalfeldt Publishing House, Bremen 1980

  • New York, Gruner + Jahr Publishing House, Hamburg 1980

  • De Espana, El Viso S.A., Madrid 1982

  • Castillos - Castles in Spain, Schirmer/Mosel, Munich 1983

  • The New Old Kitchen, Gruner + Jahr Publishing House, Hamburg 1983

  • Three-star cuisine for the home, Südwest Verlag, Munich 1984

  • Cooked gifts, Südwest Verlag, Munich 1985

  • Agnes Amberg's cookbook, Südwest Verlag, Munich 1985

  • China's Food, Friendly Press Inc., New York 1985

  • China and its Cuisine: A Photographic Journey by Reinhart Wolf, Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich 1986

  • Signs of Heaven, Munich 1986

  • Japan - Culture of Food, Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich 1987

  • The Villas of Veneto, Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich 1987

  • The Culinary Gallery, Jahreszeiten Verlag, Hamburg 1988