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Photography in the Weimar Republic

LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn


1 October 2019 – 19 January 2020


In cooperation with Deutsche Fotothek Dresden, Stiftung F.C. Gundlach Hamburg and with the support of ullstein bild collection Berlin, supported by Kunststiftung NRW.

The years of the Weimar Republic between 1918 and 1933 played a unique role in the development of photography. The artistic photography of "New Vision", which was invented and disseminated by the Russian avant-garde and the Bauhaus, was confronted with photojournalism and documentary photography as a second focal point. The image reportage was invented: photography and text now congenially combined in the search for journalistic truth, but also in the search for what one thought was journalistic truth or what one wanted to make it. Photographers such as Erich Salomon and reporters such as Egon Erwin Kisch achieved unprecedented fame. With a circulation of 2 million copies at times, Berliner Illustrierte was the highest-circulation print product in the world.

The presentation approaches the photography of the Weimar Republic from a new perspective, neither chronologically, nor oriented towards important photographers or artistic currents, but rather comprehensively by means of terms. They stand for the eventful history of these years: revolution and republic, worker photography, sport and movement, architecture, fashion and dance are only some of the thematic fields on the basis of which the various media forms of photography in the form of original prints from the archives with magazines, postcards, illustrated books, posters and other materials are related to each other.

The comprehensive archives of the cooperation partners and selected loans, including from the ullstein bild collection Berlin, provide a new perspective on the complexity of everyday life in Weimar - from the hopeful beginning of 1918/19 to the downfall of 1933. Side by side, the exhibition shows the great photographers of the time such as August Sander, Lotte Jacobi, Hugo Erfurth, Martin Munkacsi, Yva, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Erich Salomon, Umbo, Werner Mantz or Albert Renger-Patzsch with formerly known but today often forgotten protagonists. The presentation thus provides a unique insight into the cultural history of the Weimar Republic.

In addition, visitors of the exhibition can browse through numerous original publications from the period between 1918 and 1933 in the Studiolo.


LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn
Colmantstr. 14-16
53115 Bonn, Germany

Museum opening hours
DI to SO and holidays 11 - 18 hrs, SA 13 - 18 hrs
MO closed
Group tours for school classes from 10 a.m. possible