Museum Folkwang
  • »Our Age Has a New Sense of Form« – Photography in the 1920s

  • In the 1920s, the social and economic changes wrought by living in cities, the rise of industry and the new technical achievements also influenced the visual process of perception; photography, film and illustrated magazines fascinated the avant-gardists and inspired them to experiment and explore.

    Perspectives / reportages / abstraction
    The photographers of the 1920s tried out the design possibilities afforded by their medium and aspired towards a New Way of Seeing, towards a means of expressing their environment that had suddenly been set in motion, a means that was appropriate to the times. The artistic productivity of those years is attested to by extreme and new kinds of perspectives, montages and photograms, plus the way that photographers played with sections and contrasts. Moreover, these photographers also investigated their surroundings; picture journalism and the press flourished.

    During the Weimar Republic the medium of photography offered women in particular, who were gradually becoming emancipated from their classic role as wives and mothers, a new field of activity. And if their efforts after the Second World War were initially forgotten, two exhibitions at Museum Folkwang, ›Fotografinnen‹ (1970) and ›Fotografieren hieß teilnehmen‹ (1994) showed their appreciation of such women once again. In addition to this, artists such as Aenne Biermann, Lotte Jacobi, Germaine Krull and Annelise Kretschmer were presented at solo shows.

    Teachers / pupils
    In the 1920s, the growing importance of the medium of photography increasingly led to the establishment of photographic courses at arts and crafts schools. Here, the focus was on learning together and on practical activities in workshops. Many photographers acted as teachers and influenced the way that their pupils worked: Max Burchartz and, for a short time, Albert Renger-Patzsch at the Folkwang College of Design in Essen; Hans Finsler at a school for skilled workers and arts and crafts, Burg Giebichstein in Halle; Walter Peterhans and László Moholy-Nagy, who were involved with the Constructivists connected with the Bauhaus.

    The new media also accelerated the development of advertising, with photography assuming an increasing importance and gradually replacing drawing and illustrations. The expanding advertising market offered new fields of activity peopled by professional photographers, graphic designers and artists.
  • Exh_Title_S: »Our Age Has a New Sense of Form« – Photography in the 1920s
  • Exh_Id: 1,461
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Department of Photography
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 184
Untitled (Industrial Landscape)
Otto Rittmeyer
Untitled (Presumably Design for the Magazine „Zrelischa")
Ficus Elastica (Gummibaum)
Junges Mädchen
Winding tower, Königsborn Mine, Architect Alfred Fischer, Essen
Untitled (Girl with Blossom)
Ohne Titel, Berlin
Fische und Kartenkönigin
Hutmode. Nachmittagshut mit großem Spitzenrand, Modell: Le monnier (Model Miss Florence)
Untitled (Advertising for Menswear)
Goldfisch Badeanzüge (Werbeplakat für die Firma Fischer, Maas & Kappauf)