Hamburg in the Eyes of Photographer Fide Struck 1930-33

Striking portraits and unusual perspectives are characteristic of the images produced by photographer Friedrich “Fide” Struck (1899 – 1976), who recorded workers in the harbour and farmers in the countryside around Hamburg, but also documented traders in action on the Hamburg Stock Exchange. After his photos were rediscovered in an old wooden suitcase in 2015, the work of this self-taught photographer of workers will now be presented by the Altonaer Museum in cooperation with the Stiftung F.C. Gundlach trust for the very first time.

It was above all in Hamburg and Altona that Fide Struck took photographs of people at work in the harbour, in the fish auction hall and fish smokeries, of the farmers at the Deichtorenhallen vegetable market and finally of traders in the Hamburg Stock Exchange. His photos stand out for one thing due to their documentary approach in keeping with the “New Objectivity” and “New Vision” styles, yet their inherent empathy with the world of the workers and farmers means they are also of a political nature.

Under the NS regime, taking socially critical photographs of workers became increasingly dangerous. Struck focussed more and more on non-political subjects, after 1934 only taking photos of his own family. He stored the glass negatives of his work in a wooden suitcase which accompanied him through the turmoil of the Second World War and the post war period from Berlin via Hamburg to Stuttgart and finally back to Hamburg again. This case was then stored in a cellar until Fide’s son, Thomas Struck, came across the historically spectacular contents in the year 2015.

An Altonaer Museum exhibition in cooperation with the F.C. Gundlach Stiftung

Stiftung Historische Museen Hamburg
Altonaer Museum
Museumsstr. 23
22765 Hamburg

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