F.C. Gundlach Collection

Over many decades F.C. Gundlach, one of the most important fashion photographers of West Germany, collected photography and created a significant private photography collection.

Collecting is a creative act, a method of self-awareness and a possibility to participate in the passions of others. A collector selects subjectively without regard to proportion or obligation towards the public. Selection criteria can be not only the intellectual approach to a particular era or theme, but more importantly an emotional approach: The joy to live with a certain, special work of art. However a collection without a concept is just an accumulation. Focused on one style, one topic or subject collecting can become a personal resumé and a critical or affirmative commentary on tendencies in contemporary art. In the course of time and under the impression of personal and social changes a collection evolves like a living organism. Today the main emphasis of my collection lies in pictures depicting people in their temporality and fragility.

F.C. Gundlach

The collection is preserved by the F.C. Gundlach Foundation since 2000 and made accessible to the public in exhibitions and publications.

Collection Profile

The main focus of the collection is fashion photography in its broadest sense. From its early period, the collection includes convolutions from art photography around 1900 as well as from fashion photography of the 1920s and 1930s, for example works by Baron de Meyer, Madame D' Ora, George Hoyningen-Huene, Erwin Blumenfeld, Yva and Imre von Santho. In addition, in recent years there has been an increased focus on the early period of photography in general, represented by works by photographers such as David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, Julia Margeret Cameron and Adolphe Eugène Disderi, among others.

Fashion photography in Germany after the Second World War, on the other hand, is represented by extensive collections by Regina Relang, Hubs Flöter, Norbert Leonard and Sonja Georgi; lifestyle and fashion photography of the 1970s and 1980s is represented by authors such as Christian von Alvensleben, Hans Hansen and Reinhart Wolf.

The international standing of the collection in this segment is demonstrated by numerous works by Horst P. Horst, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Norman Parkinson, Lilian Bassman, William Klein, Frank Horvat, David LaChapelle and others.

Fashion photography – as a visualisation of zeitgeist as manifested in pose, gesture, facial expression and clothing – always reflects the attitude to life of an era. From this point of view, the collection also includes photographers who go far beyond the genre of fashion photography and document a permanently changing lifestyle in their works. They include Gabriele and Helmut Nothhelfer, Diane Arbus, Neal Slavin, Ralph Gibson, Larry Clark, Joel Peter Witkin, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, David Armstrong, Mark Morrisroe, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Wolfgang Tillmans.

Nude photography also occupies an important place in the collection with larger convolutions: Wilhelm von Gloeden, Bill Brandt, Allan Jones, Eikoh Hosoe, Les Krims, Robert Mapplethorpe, Shinya Fujiwara, Nobuyoshi Araki and Bruce Weber should be mentioned here.

In the fields of documentary photography and street photography, the following photographers are represented: Barbara Klemm, Sebastiao Salgado, Josef Koudelka, Antanas Sutkus and Evgenij Mochorev.

Finally, since the mid-1980s, the collection has increasingly included works by visual artists who experiment and work with the medium of photography. Examples include Jürgen Klauke, Walter Dahn, Georg Herold, Günther Förg, Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen and Thomas Locher, but also Andy Warhol, Fischli and Weiss, Christopher Williams, Zoe Leonard, John Waters and Jenny Holzer.

The collection also includes extensive holdings of abstract, subjective and artistic photography, which are also represented by the archives of Peter Keetman, Toni Schneiders and Wilfried Bauer. Beginning with protagonists of the twenties such as Hein Gorny or Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, these range from Kilian Breier to young positions such as Edgar Leciejewski and Pepa Hristova.