A life for photography
On July 16th 2021, F.C. Gundlach,
master of fashion photography and founding director
of the Haus der Photographie, celebrates his 95th birthday.
Photography has always determined F.C. Gundlach's life, as a photographer, gallery owner, collector, exhibition organizer, teacher, museum director, benefactor and promoter. F.C. Gundlach was active into old age: as a producer of renowned international exhibition projects, as a promoter of young photographic talent and preserver of extraordinary photographic estates, as an advisor and visionary with an eye on the medium of photography.
It is to F.C. Gundlach's credit that the city of Hamburg is today internationally perceived as a city of photography and photographers. Since 2000, the F.C. Gundlach Foundation, which promotes photography as a cultural asset through exhibitions and publications, has played a major role in this. He also initiated the Triennale der Photographie in 1999, founded the Arbeitskreis der Fotografie (now the Friends of the House of Photography) as early as 1993, and curated numerous photographic exhibitions at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the Hamburger Kunstverein, and the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. In 2003, he was appointed founding director of the House of Photography by the Hamburg Senate and established a new, innovative platform for the examination of the medium of photography in the southern Deichtorhalle.
F.C. Gundlach, born on July 16, 1926, is probably one of the best-known fashion photographers of the German post-war era. Today, many of his images have long been anchored as icons in the cultural visual memory.
After a photographic education in Kassel, he worked a lot at the beginning of his career for magazines such as Deutsche Illustrierte, Quick or Stern. In 1950 he traveled to Paris for the first time. He produced home stories of film stars and his first fashion pictures of Parisian haute couture. But fashion and fashion photography also experienced a period of blossoming in post-war Germany. In 1954, the elegant magazine Film und Frau became F.C. Gundlach's biggest client, for which he photographed more than 100 covers until 1963. In many issues, he was also able to create fashion spreads of up to 30 pages.
An exclusive contract with Lufthansa opened up the whole world to F.C. Gundlach in 1956. In addition to fashion shots, he soon produced travel and architectural reportages.
From 1963, F.C. Gundlach photographed for Brigitte under an exclusive contract and began to feature the young and fresh prêt-à-porter. With success: until 1989, he photographed a total of more than 160 covers and over 5,000 pages in the editorial fashion section of Brigitte, the most important fashion and lifestyle magazine in Germany.
F.C. Gundlach's commitment to photography extended to many aspects of the medium. As early as 1967, he founded the company Creative Colour in Düsseldorf, followed in 1971 by PPS. Professional Photo Service in Hamburg, another service company for professional photographers. In 1975, he opened the associated galleries in Düsseldorf and Hamburg. They were among the first galleries for photography in Germany. Here he showed more than 140 exhibitions of internationally important photographers and artists.
With the beginning of the 1980s, F.C. Gundlach increasingly concentrated on collecting photographic works and designing photographic museum exhibitions and book publications, as well as teaching. Numerous awards and honors, such as the award of the honorary professorship of the HfbK Hamburg, the Federal Cross of Merit and the Henri Nannen Prize, testify to the appreciation of his efforts in the medium of photography.
In order to secure his extensive photo collection in perpetuity, he made a large part of his collection available to the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg on permanent loan with the founding of the House of Photography in 2003.
The F.C. Gundlach Foundation, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, continues his commitment to photography:
"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 this in the spirit of our founder, the photographer F.C. Gundlach, who himself combines many aspects of the wonderfully diverse medium of photography in his prolific work."
For more information or images, please feel free to contact us.
F.C. Gundlach Foundation
040 - 44 45 51