Exhibition: ‘The best is often the Memories: Photographic Portraits of Romy Schneider’ at Museum für Kunst Und Gewerbe, Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 6th February – 13th April 2009


Will McBride. 'Romy Schneider, Paris, 1964'


Will McBride (American, 1931-2015)
Romy Schneider, Paris, 1964
Gelatin silver print



The legend that was Romy!

I have never known the filmography of Romy Schneider, never come across this actress before sad to say. But now I do. What great photographs. What a beautiful woman: sensitive, vivacious, stunning. A soul I would have liked to have known.


Many thankx to the Museum für Kunst Und Gewerbe for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



Romy Schneider (German: born Rosemarie Magdalena Albach; 23 September 1938 – 29 May 1982) was a German-French actress. She began her career in the German Heimatfilm genre in the early 1950s when she was 15. From 1955 to 1957, she played the central character of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the Austrian Sissi trilogy, and later reprised the role in a more mature version in Luchino Visconti’s Ludwig (1973). Schneider moved to France, where she made successful and critically acclaimed films with some of the most notable film directors of that era.

Read more about Romy Schneider on the Wikipedia website


Peter Brüchmann. 'Romy Schneider, Munich, 1968'


Peter Brüchmann (German, 1932-2016)
Romy Schneider, Munich, 1968
Gelatin silver print



Peter Brüchmann

Born in Berlin, Peter Brüchmann trained to be a photographer with the fashion and portrait photographer Lotte Söhring and subsequently completed a traineeship at the German press agency dpa. In the 1950s and 1960s he worked for well-known magazines, such as Schöner Wohnen, Stern and Bild am Sonntag. Brüchmann is primarily known for his portraits of celebrities of the movie and music industry. In 2008 the photographer participated in the group exhibition Die Erinnerung ist oft das Schönste – Fotografische Porträts von Romy Schneider, an exhibition comprising portraits of the famous Franco-German actress Romy Schneider, held at the Stiftung Opelvillen Rüsselheim, Germany. Today Peter Brüchmann works as a freelance photographer for several national and international magazines. Numerous of his photographs are among the collections of the German Historical Museum in Berlin.


Roger Fritz. 'Romy Schneider, Paris, 1961'


Roger Fritz (German, 1936-2021)
Romy Schneider, Paris, 1961
Gelatin silver print



Herbert List, Max Scheler, Roger Fritz, F. C. Gundlach, Will McBride, Peter Brüchmann, Werner Bokelberg, Helga Kneidl and Robert Lebeck took photos of Romy Schneider in quite different ways, as a young girl, in her film roles, together with her children, apparently unobserved in everyday situations or in set poses and dressed up in various costumes, merry or pensive, beautiful and fragile. More than 140 pictures will be on show, of which about 40 are being exhibited for the first time.

Hardly any other star has left us with so many different and conflicting images as Romy Schneider. She was photographed thousands of times – and yet she always remained enigmatic. Some of the photographers whose work is presented in this exhibition only met Romy once – Herbert List, for instance, captured her as a teenager around 1954 on pictures which remained unknown until recently – or accompanied her throughout her life, like Robert Lebeck, who succeeded in taking disturbingly personal pictures of her from the 1950s through to shortly before her death.

These snapshots conjure up once again the legend that was Romy, while at the same time making a powerful statement which reveals the transitoriness of existence. Because that is the core of what a photo does: it creates an image in order to bear lasting witness to an event which happened – yet at the very moment of capturing the image on film, it is no more than the proof that the fleeting moment has passed.

The photos by Herbert List, Werner Bokelberg, Peter Brüchmann, Roger Fritz and Max Scheler are being shown publicly for the first time. This also applies to the majority of the photos by F. C. Gundlach and Will McBride. The pictures by Helga Kneidl and Robert Lebeck have already appeared in books about Romy Schneider. These volumes are however now out of print.

Text from the Museum für Kunst Und Gewerbe website


Herbert List. 'Romy Schneider, Munich, 1954'


Herbert List (German, 1903-1975)
Romy Schneider, Munich, 1954
Gelatin silver print



Herbert List

Herbert List (7 October 1903 – 4 April 1975) was a German photographer, who worked for magazines, including VogueHarper’s Bazaar, and Life, and was associated with Magnum Photos. His austere, classically posed black-and-white compositions, particularly his homoerotic male nudes, taken in Italy and Greece being influential in modern photography and contemporary fashion photography.



In 1929 he met Andreas Feininger who inspires his greater interest in photography and who gives him a Rolleiflex camera. From 1930 he began taking portraits of friends and shooting still life, is influenced by the Bauhaus and artists of the surrealist movements, Man Ray, Giorgio De Chirico and Max Ernst, and creates a surrealist photograph titled Metaphysique in a style he called fotografia metafisica in homage to De Chirico, his most important influence during this period. He used male models, draped fabric, masks and double-exposures to depict dream states and fantastic imagery. He has explained that his photos were “composed visions where [my] arrangements try to capture the magical essence inhabiting and animating the world of appearances.”

In 1936, in response to the danger of Gestapo attention to his openly gay lifestyle and his Jewish heritage, List left Germany for Paris, where he met George Hoyningen-Huene with whom he travelled to Greece, deciding then to become a photographer. During 1937 he worked in a studio in London and held his first one-man show at Galerie du Chasseur d’Images in Paris. Hoyningen-Huene referred him to Harper’s Bazaar magazine, and 1936-1939 he worked for Arts et Metiers GraphiquesVerveVoguePhotographie, and Life. List was unsatisfied with fashion photography. He turned back to still life imagery, continuing in his fotografia metafisica style.

From 1937 to 1939 List traveled in Greece and took photographs of ancient temples, ruins, sculptures, and the landscape for his book Licht über Hellas. In the meantime he supported himself with work for magazines Neue LinieDie Dame and for the press from 1940-1943, and with portraits which he continued to make until 1950. In List’s work the revolutionary tactics of surrealist art and a metaphysical staging of irony and reverie had been honed in an the fashion industry that relied on illusion and spectacle which after World War II returned to a classical fixation on ruins, broken male statuary and antiquity.

Text from the Wikipedia website


F. C. Gundlach. 'Romy Schneider, Hamburg, 1961'


F. C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Romy Schneider, Hamburg, 1961
Gelatin silver print



F. C. Gundlach

F. C. Gundlach (Franz Christian Gundlach; born 16 July 1926 in Heinebach, Hesse; died 23 July 2021, Hamburg, Germany) is a German photographer, gallery owner, collector, curator und founder. In 2000 he created the F.C. Gundlach Foundation, since 2003 he has been founding director of the House of Photography – Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

His fashion photographs of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, which in many cases integrated social phenomena and current trends in the visual arts, have left their context of origin behind and found their way into museums and collections. Since 1975 he also curated many internationally renowned photographic exhibitions. On the occasion of the reopening of the House of Photography in April 2005, he curated the retrospective of the Hungarian photographer Martin Munkácsi. Here, the exhibitions A Clear VisionThe Heartbeat of Fashion and Maloney, Meyerowitz, Shore, Sternfeld. New Color Photography of the 1970s from his collection were presented since 2003. Most recently he curated the exhibitions More Than Fashion for the Moscow House of Photography and Vanity for the Kunsthalle Wien 2011.


The fashion photographer

F. C. Gundlach attended the Private Lehranstalt für Moderne Lichtbildkunst (Private School for Modern Photography) under Rolf W. Nehrdich in Kassel from 1946 to 1949. Subsequently, he began publishing theatre and film reports in magazines such as Deutsche Illustrierte, Stern, Quick and Revue as a freelance photographer.

His specialisation in fashion photography began in 1953 with his work for the Hamburg-based magazine Film und Frau, for which he photographed German fashion, Parisian haute couture and fur fashion campaigns. Additionally he photographed portraits of artists such as Romy Schneider, Hildegard Knef, Dieter Borsche and Jean-Luc Godard. For Film und Frau, but also for Stern, Annabelle, Twen and other magazines, F. C. Gundlach has since made fashion and reportage trips to the Near, Middle and Far East as well as to Central and South America. Under an exclusive contract with the magazine Brigitte, he photographed many of the trendsetting fashion pages until 1983, a total of more than 160 covers and 5,000 pages of editorial fashion. In the 1970s and 1980s he worked in South America, Africa, but above all in New York and on the American west coast.

His retrospective solo exhibitions, such as ModeWelten (1985), Die Pose als Körpersprache (1999), Bilder machen Mode (2004) or F. C. Gundlach. The photographic work (2008) were shown in many museums and galleries in Germany and abroad.


“He is a photographer whose images show the knowledge of the dominant role of fashion as a cultural social factor. For this reason, he rarely presented the phenomena of fashion in isolation, but rather linked them to the phenomenology of everyday reality and placed them in the socio-cultural context from which they ultimately originated. F. C. Gundlach proves to be a photographic artist with a will to style, a mastery of staging and the ability to shape the photographic image at his leisure, who arranges his models in ever new formal constellations: as a photographer of extraordinary aesthetic quality.”

~ Klaus Honnef


“As a fashion photographer who makes use of a recording medium, the photographer must live, think and feel entirely in his time. Fashion photographs are always interpretations and stagings. They reflect and visualise the zeitgeist of the present and anticipate the spirit of tomorrow. They offer projection screens for identification, but also for dreams, wishes and desires. And yet fashion photographs say more about a time than documentary photographs pretending to depict reality.”

~ F.C. Gundlach

Text from the Wikipedia website


Werner Bokelberg. 'Romy Schneider, London, 1968'


Werner Bokelberg (German, b. 1937)
Romy Schneider, London, 1968
Gelatin silver print


Helga Kneidl. 'Romy Schneider, Paris, 1972'


Helga Kneidl (German, b. 1939)
Romy Schneider, Paris, 1972


Helga Kneidl. 'Romy Schneider, Paris, 1973'


Helga Kneidl (German, b. 1939)
Romy Schneider, Paris, 1973



Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Steintorplatz, 20099 Hamburg

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 6pm
Thursday 10am – 9pm
Closed Mondays

Museum für Kunst Und Gewerbe website


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2 Responses to “Exhibition: ‘The best is often the Memories: Photographic Portraits of Romy Schneider’ at Museum für Kunst Und Gewerbe, Hamburg”

  1. 1 LL
    May 27, 2010 at 3:38 am

    wish i could go see this exhibit!
    romy is an excellent actor. she is my absolute favorite.

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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