Past exhibition

Female Photographers in the Weimar Republic – Photographing Meant Taking Part

02.09.–28.10.1995

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The “new woman” of the 1920s – her self-discovery, her sexuality, her “thrust” into the male domain of work, her experiments with various new roles, styles and behaviour – was a sign and expression of the social and economic changes of the inter-war period, of the modern age in Germany and Europe.

This “new woman” became active, began to photograph as well, and understood the camera as a chance for a profession and self-confident participation in social life. Most remarkable were, of course, the new faces, sometimes androgynous, sometimes expressive images of women. The truly new, indeed utopian in this development was, however, the strength to take the freedom to fulfill one's desires and embodying one's aims, to change, to not become pushed into a role or become fixed.

The exhibition presents this giant step for women for the first time. Using as examples some 50 photographers, among them such famous names as Marianne Breslauer, Ilse Bing, Gisèle Freund, Florence Henri, Hannah Höch, Lotte Jacobi, Germaine Krull and Lucia Moholy, photography is presented as an important area for becoming active, for participation – in photographs which range from traditional atelier photos to avant-garde experiments, from investigative reportage to extravagant self-presentation and convention-breaking photomontage: An important and exciting supplement to existing photo history.

The exhibition was curated by Ute Eskildsen. Realisation in Winterthur: Urs Stahel. A collaboration with the Folkwang Museum, Essen.

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