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Paragons / Afterimages
Photographs from the Berlin University of the Arts 1850 – 1930

26.11.2020 to 05.04.2021
Museum für Fotografie

Paragons / Afterimages – the pair of terms refers to correlations between images, but also to their production, where reference is made to already existing images. In the art academies and schools of applied arts in the 19th and early 20th century, photographs served as models or paragons and served as their individual didactic type of image. Photographic reference material was an important aid in the creative practice of aspiring artists; and in the course of their use, afterimages were created in art classes: paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphics.

The archives of the Berlin University of the Arts have preserved a valuable photographic teaching collection that dates back to the 1850s and had already been created at the predecessor institutions, the Berlin Royal Art Academy and the School of Decorative Arts. With approximately 25.000 individual photographic prints, and additional bundles and albums, this collection is unique in Germany. Hardly noticed for a long time, it has in recent years been archivally and scientifically reviewed. This collection is presented for the first time with the exhibition.

The most common pictorial motifs include art reproductions, landscapes, nature studies of water, clouds, trees, plants, rocks etc., architecture, still lifes, portraits, genre scenes as well as tableaux vivants, nudes and animal studies, oriental and historical representations. The original studies – distributed in France as études d’après nature – are by well-known European and American photographers.

Photographers: Fratelli Alinari, Ottomar Anschütz, Karl Blossfeldt, Adolphe Braun, Eugène Cuvelier, Georg Maria Eckert, Constantin Famin, Wilhelm von Gloeden, Albert Renger Patzsch, Jakob August Lorent, Gustave le Gray, James Robertson, Henry Peach Robinson, F. Albert Schwartz, Giorgio Sommer, Carleton Watkins

A special exhibition of the photography collection of the Münchner Stadtmuseum and the Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in cooperation with the Universität der Künste Berlin

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10623 Berlin

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