Tuesday, October 7, 2014



Currently, Leica Masterpieces from the Collection of Dr. Kühn-Leitz are exhibited at the Kunstverein in Wetzlar.   “The Leica replaced static shots with heavy and bulky plate cameras with dynamic images, and for the first time allowed spontaneous capture of unrepeatable moments” said Dr. Knut Kühn-Leitz on Sunday at the Kunstverein.

<p>Dieses Foto stammt von Werner Bischof. (Repro/Foto: Frahm)</p>
Foto: Werner Bischof

The great-grandson of Ernst Leitz introduced a selection of masterpieces of famous Leica photographers from his personal collection in the gallery. 60 visitors came to attend the opening.

Kühn-Leitz spoke about the history of the famous camera, which, thanks to Ernst Leitz, Oskar Barnack and Max Berek, for the first time allowed the unknown small-format photography.  It opened up a new markets and production during a period of high unemployment and opened up new jobs. Thus the visionary founded a new era of photography. The Leica weighed only 500 grams including film cassette and allowed to photograph life unnoticed. The camera also introduced a new flexibility, because 36 shots could be taken in succession.

<p>Knut Kühn-Leitz, der Urenkel von Ernst Leitz, stellte in der Galerie eine Auswahl von Meisterwerken berühmter Leica-Fotografen aus seiner Sammlung vor.</p>
Dr. Knut Kühn-Leitz

Ernst Leitz laid the foundation for dynamic, live photography and modern photojournalism, according to Kühn-Leitz.
For the exhibition he selected only black and white photographs for their special artistic effect. "Many images have captured the decisive moment in a humorous way.  Some have a high level of awareness and have become classics," he explained.

A lot of the photos were taken before the Second World War and in the 50s to the 70s of the last century. The photographers who were traveling with a Leica and the images shown at the art club in the Old Town Hall, gained international fame.

For instance, Dr. Paul Wolff, originally a physician, won his first Leica in 1926 through a raffle at the "International Photo Exhibition.”  He was one of the first protagonists of the camera and described his experiences in the book "My experience with the Leica".  Erich Salomon was a lawyer.  In 1926, at the age of 40, he started photography. Salomon was one of the pioneers of "Available Light Photography" snapshots in low light indoors without flash and tripod. Salomon acquired a small, lightweight Leica in 1932.

Additional photos in the exhibition are by Barbara Klemm, Will McBride, Robert Lebeck, Ulrich Mack, Hanns Hubmann, Hilmar Pabel, Marc Riboud, and Werner Bischof Stefan Kruckenhauser.  The exhibition runs through October 31 in the Old Town Hall, Hausergasse 17.  Opening times are Fridays 4 to 6 pm, Saturdays 11 am to 3 pm and Sundays 1 to 4 pm.  Admission is free.


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