Photography at the Städel Museum from the Beginnings to 1960

9 July to 5 October 2014

In 1845, the Frankfurt Städel was the first art museum in the world to exhibit photographic works. The invention of the new medium had been announced in Paris just six years earlier, making 2014 the 175th anniversary of that momentous event. In keeping with the tradition it thus established, “Lichtbilder: Photography at the Städel Museum from the Beginnings to 1960” presented the extensive photographic holdings of the museum’s Modern Art Department.

In addition to such pioneers as Nadar, Gustave Le Gray, Roger Fenton and Julia Margaret Cameron, the show featured photography heroes of the twentieth century such as August Sander, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Man Ray, Dora Maar or Otto Steinert, while moreover highlighting virtually forgotten members of the profession. While giving an overview of the Städel’s early photographic holdings and the acquisitions of the past years, the exhibition also shed light on the history of the medium from its beginnings to 1960.

CURATORS: Felicity Grobien and Dr Felix Krämer, Städel Museum