Friedrich Seidenstücker – Life in the City
21 May – 15 August 2021

Friedrich Seidenstücker –
Life in the City

Photographs from the 1920s to 1940s
Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation,
Bavarian State Painting Collections,
Munich

Friedrich Seidenstücker (1882-1966) is one of the most important chroniclers of everyday life in Berlin during the Weimar Republic. His atmospheric photographs, mostly taken on his strolls through the city, tell of ostensibly incidental events and occurrences: of Sunday fun and everyday work, of children playing in the street and the goings-on at railway stations and in the zoo. Seidenstücker shows – often from a humorous perspective – the people and life in the metropolis. At the same time, his photographs make the hardships of big-city existence visible and, in the background, repeatedly allow the contrasts of social reality in the interwar years to shine through.

The exhibition featuring 100 works from the Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation, Bavarian State Painting Collections, Munich, invites you to follow Friedrich Seidenstücker on his walks through Berlin 100 years ago.

The Art of the Moment
With few exceptions, the ‘Momentknipser’ (capturer of the moment), as he called himself, found his motifs outside on the street. As visual metaphors, his famous photographs of ‘Pfützenspringerinnen’ (puddle-leapers) represent metropolitan modernity and urban life. With a portable camera and a light-sensitive lens, he instinctively documented many other scenes and figures – including small tradesmen such as porters, coachmen, and travelling salesmen, as well as nannies, rubbish collection workers, and newspaper vendors – in their daily activities, but also while waiting or resting.

»I’m a day tripper«
Seidenstücker characterised himself thusly and set out to accompany his models to the Wannsee beach or to see the cherry blossoms in Werder. His favourite place, however, was the Berlin Zoological Garden. In his photographs taken here, it is not only the enthusiasm of the zoo visitors that becomes visible – occasionally, the observer and the observed seem to reverse their roles: Are the animals also interested in the people?

Seidenstücker’s photographs from the 1920s to the ’40s are images of everyday life, early street photography that documents people in the social fabric of the modern metropolis with an attentive eye and keen intuition. With a twinkle in his eye, he created images that give us today an idea of the hardships and travail, but also of the longings, the small diversions, and the pleasures of life in the city.

The exhibition was organised in special cooperation and with the scientific support of the Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation, Bavarian State Painting Collections, Munich.
An exhibition on the occasion of the Cologne Festival Photoszene United 2021.

Exhibition catalogue

Exhibition catalogue Friedrich Seidenstücker

Friedrich Seidenstücker – Leben in der Stadt
Ed. by Simone Förster for Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde,
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München

With a foreword by Bernhard Maaz, Hannelore Fischer and Birgit Kümmel
and a text by Simone Förster

82 pages, 52 pictures, german / english
24 x 30 cm, Softcover
München 2021

Available in our museum shop
16,00 €

Gallery

Friedrich Seidenstücker, Stettiner Bhf., 1930 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Pfützenspringerinnen, 1925, © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, In Nachlassachen seines Vaters, ca. 1950 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Prominente werden geknipst, Zoologischer Garten Berlin, 1930 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Begegnungen im Zoo, 1926 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Familientandem, 1947 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Kinder in der Stadt, 1928 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Potsdamer Platz, nach 1931 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Lastenträger, 1928 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Hundemaler, 1928 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Selbstporträt mit Kamera, ca. 1925 © Archiv Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Zülpich 2021
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Berlin Nord im Wedding, 1923 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Fotoschule, 1920/30er Jahre © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Hoteldiener, 1930 © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München
Friedrich Seidenstücker, Zebras, 1920/30er Jahre © Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München

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