Landshoff grew up in Munich-Solln as the son of a well-to-do Jewish family that was very much involved in the city’s art, literature and music scenes. After training at Munich’s Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts), he became a member of the circle of well-known typographer and book illustrator Fritz Helmuth Ehmcke. It was here that Landshoff met the Nuremberg illustrator Richard Lindner alongside whom he would subsequently work as part of the creative team at the Knorr & Hirth publishing house.
When the Nazis seized power in 1933, Landshoff was forced to emigrate, initially settling in Paris where he worked as a fashion photographer. Between 1936 and 1939, his images were published in the popular ‘Femina’ magazine and in the French edition of ‘Vogue’. He was then forced to flee France and, after an eventful journey spanning 1940 and 1941, he eventually pitched up in New York.
Landshoff soon became one of the most fascinating fashion photographers to collaborate with legendary art director Alexey Brodovitch for fashion magazines such as ‘Harper’s Bazaar’, ‘Junior Bazaar’ and latterly also ‘Mademoiselle’. He developed his own style as a fashion photographer, portraying the models in life-like everyday situations. American fashion photographer Richard Avedon considered himself to have been profoundly inspired by Landshoff, even being moved to claim that ‘I owe everything to Landshoff’.
There is little doubt that Hermann Landshoff is one of the last great unsung heroes in (the history of) 20th century photography.
The exhibition will show a selection of more than 250 of Landshoff’s fascinating photographs for the first time, with subjects drawn from across the entire spectrum of his work, from fashion to portraits and architecture. (read more)
Nov. 29, 2013 - Apr. 21, 2014
Wolf Strache considered this iconic image taken during WWII one of his best photographs and it has become a symbol of that time. The original negative was confiscated shortly after its production and Strache made another negative in the 1970s with which he made later prints. The sign advertising the film Reise in die Vergangenheit (Trip to the Past) makes the image all the more poignant. (+)
Wolf Strache was born in Greifswald in 1910 and lived in Stuttgart until his death in 2001. In 1934 he completed a study of economics in Munich. Subsequently, he worked as a freelance photo journalist in Berlin for magazines like 'Die neue Linie'; as from 1936, he also published illustrated volumes about Germany’s landscapes. He taught himself photography.
From 1932 to 1942 he worked in the photographic archives and picture service of the Reich’s Foreign Office. Afterwards, as a war reporter, he heroized the German air force in his photographs – complying with the spirit of Nazi propaganda entirely. He produced his most famous shot of a woman wearing a gas mask pushing a pram through a landscape of ruins in the destroyed city of Berlin.
After the war, he began to work in Stuttgart as a freelance photo journalist. As from 1951 he published the series “Die schönen Bücher” about landscapes, art and nature, and he also brought out the year book “Das Deutsche Lichtbild” from 1955 to 1975. He was presented with the Cultural Award of the DGPh (Deutsche Gesellschaft der Photographie) in 1979. (+)