2 Min Lesezeit

From the first female pioneers of the 19th century to contemporary women photographers in Frankfurt. The new exhibition at Frankfurt’s Historical Museum explores the complex relationship between photography, the city and society.

Frankfurt: City of Women Photographers
Emy Limpert, Fashion Department of the City of Frankfurt, Raincoat model | ©Frankfurt Historical Museum
Frankfurt: City of Women Photographers
Ilse Bing, Self-portrait taken with Leica looking in a mirror, gelatin silver print, Frankfurt 1931 | © Frankfurt Historical Museum

The development of Frankfurt into an international metropolis since industrialization is closely linked to the development of photography, but also to the history of the social and artistic emancipation of women photographers. Since the invention of photography and the founding of the first studios in the 1840s, Frankfurt has attracted female photographers whose work has received regional, national and international attention. The close relationship between photography and cityscape played an important role, be it in photojournalism, in architecture, fashion or theater photography or in artistic photo concepts. According to the museum, the diverse relationships become clear “through the Frankfurt theater and magazine photographers Nini and Carry Hess, through the architectural and social photographers Ilse Bing and Ella Bergmann-Michel in the Weimar Republic as well as through Gisèle Freund in the area of social portraits and of photo theory”.

Many women photographers who were very well known in their time have so far received little recognition from the general public. To change this, the Historical Museum Frankfurt (HMF) is dedicating an exhibition to them from May 29th to September 22nd under the title “City of Photographers. “Frankfurt 1844 – 2024” is a large exhibition with around 450 regional, national and international exhibits. “Through the dialogue between the works of around 40 female photographers,” the announcement states, “generation-specific but also recurring discussions of social issues and photographic genres emerge. The urban space is portrayed as a social, political and cultural place and is at the same time the driving force and destination of photographic activity and creativity.”

Female photography pioneers like Julie Vogel had been working in Frankfurt since the 1840s. The first independent photographic studios founded by women started to emerge during the imperial era, such as that of the portrait and theater photographer Katharina Culié. In the 1920s, cultural and social change was driven forward by the “New Frankfurt”, in which photographers such as Grete Leistikow, Jeanne Mandello and Ilse Mayer Gehrken were involved. Ursula Edelmann in particular sharpens the photographic view of the architecture of the 1950s. In the 1968 generation, Barbara Klemm, Erika Sulzer-Kleinemeier, Inge Werth and Abisag Tüllmann shaped the photographic image of the city. From the 1980s onwards, Laura Padgett deals with historical buildings in her photo-artistic studies, while Meike Fischer focuses socio-politically on current new building projects. Mara Eggert, Annegret Soltau, Gabriele Lorenzer and Irene Peschick have been breaking new ground since the 1960s. Susa Templin, Christiane Feser and Sandra Mann have been networked in the international exhibition and photography scene since the 1990s. In addition, the artistic training of female photographers at the HfG Offenbach and the Städelschule shows that Frankfurt has developed from a center of press photography after 1945 into a place for contemporary photographic art.


More on ndion

More on the topic Exhibition and Museums.


Social Media:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email