Exhibition: ‘F.C. Gundlach. The Photographic Work’ at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

Exhibition dates: November 20th 2009 – March 14th 2010


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'The Whole Day on the Beach' Gizeh/Egypt 1966


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
The Whole Day on the Beach
Gizeh/Egypt 1966 in Brigitte, Issue 8/1966



Many thankx to Marie Skov and Martin-Gropius-Bau for allowing me to reproduce the photographs in this posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



F. C. Gundlach

F. C. Gundlach (Franz Christian Gundlach; 16 July 1926 – 23 July 2021) was 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.

Text from the Wikipedia website


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Erich von Stroheim during the shooting of "Alraune", Munich' 1952


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Erich von Stroheim during the shooting of “Alraune”, Munich
Gelatin silver print


'The Bloody Pit of Horror: Alraune' (1952) film poster


The Bloody Pit of Horror: Alraune (1952) film poster



Erich von Stroheim

Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim (born Erich Oswald Stroheim; September 22, 1885 – May 12, 1957) was an Austrian-American director, actor and producer, most noted as a film star and avant garde, visionary director of the silent era. His masterpiece adaptation of Frank Norris’s McTeague titled Greed is considered one of the finest and most important films ever made. After clashes with Hollywood studio bosses over budget and workers’ rights issues, von Stroheim was banned for life as a director and subsequently became a well-respected character actor, particularly in French cinema. For his early innovations as a director, von Stroheim is still celebrated as one of the first of the auteur directors. He helped introduce more sophisticated plots and noirish sexual and psychological undercurrents into cinema. He died in 1957 in France of prostate cancer at the age of 71. Beloved by Parisian neo-Surrealists known as Letterists, he was honoured by Letterist Maurice Lemaitre with a 70-minute 1979 film entitled “Erich von Stroheim.”

Text from the Wikipedia website


Alraune is a 1952 West German science fiction directed by Arthur Maria Rabenalt and starring Hildegard Knef and Erich von Stroheim. The film involves a scientist (von Stroheim), who creates a woman who is beautiful and yet soulless, lacking any sense of morality.


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Cary Grant. A Star goes to the Ball' Berlin 1960


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Cary Grant. A Star goes to the Ball
Berlin 1960 in Film und Frau, Issue 16/1960
Gelatin silver print


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Jean-Luc Godard' Berlin 1961


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Jean-Luc Godard
Berlin 1961
Gelatin silver print



Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Luc Godard (born 3 December 1930) is a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic. He rose to prominence as a pioneer of the 1960s French New Wave film movement.

Like his New Wave contemporaries, Godard criticised mainstream French cinema’s “Tradition of Quality”, which “emphasised craft over innovation, privileged established directors over new directors, and preferred the great works of the past to experimentation.” As a result of such argument, he and like-minded critics started to make their own films. Many of Godard’s films challenge the conventions of traditional Hollywood in addition to French cinema. In 1964, Godard described his and his colleagues’ impact: “We barged into the cinema like cavemen into the Versailles of Louis XV.” He is often considered the most radical French filmmaker of the 1960s and 1970s; his approach in film conventions, politics and philosophies made him arguably the most influential director of the French New Wave. Along with showing knowledge of film history through homages and references, several of his films expressed his political views; he was an avid reader of existential and Marxist philosophy. Since the New Wave, his politics have been much less radical and his recent films are about representation and human conflict from a humanist, and a Marxist perspective.

In a 2002 Sight & Sound poll, Godard ranked third in the critics’ top-ten directors of all time (which was put together by assembling the directors of the individual films for which the critics voted). He is said to have “created one of the largest bodies of critical analysis of any filmmaker since the mid-twentieth century.” He and his work have been central to narrative theory and have “challenged both commercial narrative cinema norms and film criticism’s vocabulary.” In 2010, Godard was awarded an Academy Honorary Award, but did not attend the award ceremony. Godard’s films have inspired many directors including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Brian De Palma, Steven Soderbergh, D. A. Pennebaker, Robert Altman, Jim Jarmusch, Wong Kar-wai, Wim Wenders, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Text from the Wikipedia website


Charlotte Rohrbach (German, 1902-1981) F. C. Gundlach photographing for German magazine Film und Frau (Film and Woman) in Berlin 1955, model Grit Hübscher, stole by Staebe-Seger


Charlotte Rohrbach (German, 1902-1981)
F. C. Gundlach photographing for German magazine Film und Frau (Film and Woman) in Berlin 1955, model Grit Hübscher, stole by Staebe-Seger
Gelatin silver print


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Grit Hübscher. White atlas coat by Sinaida Rudow' Berlin 1954


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Grit Hübscher. White atlas coat by Sinaida Rudow
Berlin 1954


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Berlinale. Elsa Maxwell and Gina Lollobrigida, film ball in the Palais am Funkturm, X' Berlinale 1960


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Berlinale. Elsa Maxwell and Gina Lollobrigida, film ball in the Palais am Funkturm, X
Berlinale 1960 in Film und Frau, Issue 16/1960
Gelatin silver print



Elsa Maxwell

Elsa Maxwell (May 24, 1883 – November 1, 1963) was an American gossip columnist and author, songwriter, and professional hostess renowned for her parties for royalty and high society figures of her day.

Maxwell is credited with the introduction of the scavenger hunt and treasure hunt for use as party games in the modern era. Her radio program, Elsa Maxwell’s Party Line, began in 1942; she also wrote a syndicated gossip column. She appeared as herself in the films Stage Door Canteen (1943) and Rhapsody in Blue (1945), as well as co-starring in the film Hotel for Women (1939), for which she wrote the screenplay and a song.


Gina Lollobrigida

Luigina “Gina” Lollobrigida (born 4 July 1927) is an Italian actress, photojournalist and sculptor. She was one of the highest profile European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s, a period in which she was an international sex symbol. As her film career slowed, she established second careers as a photojournalist and sculptor. In the 1970s, she achieved a scoop by gaining access to Fidel Castro for an exclusive interview.

She has continued as an active supporter of Italian and Italian American causes, particularly the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2008, she received the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award at the Foundation’s Anniversary Gala. In 2013, she sold her jewellery collection, and donated the nearly $5 million from the sale to benefit stem cell therapy research.

Texts from the Wikipedia website


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Op Art Silhouette. Jersey coat by Lend' Paris 1966


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Op Art Silhouette. Jersey coat by Lend
Paris 1966 in Brigitte, Issue 4/1966
Gelatin silver print



From November 2009 the Martin-Gropius-Bau presents the definitive retrospective of F.C. Gundlach’s extensive photographic work with the exhibition F.C. Gundlach – Photographic Work. F.C. Gundlach is one of the most famous fashion photographers worked for the most important magazines and publications from the middle of the 1950’s to 1990. Among other many famous pictures the most comprehensive presentation of F.C. Gundlach’s work shows many fameless facets of F.C. Gundlach’s work to date. After years of research, the curators Klaus Honnef, Hans-Michael Koetzle, Sebastian Lux and Ulrich Rüter present for the first time numerous unknown images as vintage prints alongside F.C. Gundlach’s famous photo icons.

The intention of the exhibition is to present the unique aesthetics of F.C. Gundlach’s photography, his roots in photojournalism, his focus on series and sequences, his narrative approach. Furthermore, the exhibition alludes to social and cultural issues over several decades.

The exhibition includes the experimental photography of his early years, especially those from Paris during the 1950’s, his remarkable portraits of German and international movie stars and film-directors as well as F.C. Gundlach’s early photo reportages and photographs of children.

For the first time, F.C. Gundlach’s work for magazines is presented on a larger scale. Magazine covers and a comprehensive collection of double-page spreads show his photographs within the magazines’ context, especially in Film und Frau (1951-1965) and Brigitte (1963-1986). Among photographs, title pages and a comprehensive selection of double pages of his pictures will be shown in context of the magazines. The exhibition illustrates that Gundlach has always been open to technical innovations in photography (35mm cameras, flash or colour photography).

His fashion productions took him both to Paris and New York and to Egypt and Morocco. This multiple printed photographs were been to special motifs in his work. F.C. Gundlach’s impressive travel reportages occurred amongst others in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and will be present in Berlin the first time. Original documents of his vita illustrate the life of the photographer. Moreover, the show illustrates the internationalisation of his work due to extensive traveling. Documents and archival material give a brief outline of the artist’s life and work.

F.C. Gundlach himself has commented his functioning in a 60 min. interview-film, which was exclusively produced for the exhibition by filmmaker Reiner Holzemer. The exhibition presents: a life’s work of photography between documentary representation and staged artificiality, between practical and experimental photography.

F.C. Gundlach, born in 1926 in Heinebach (Hesse), is considered the most significant fashion photographer of the young Federal Republic of Germany. For more than four decades of fashion photography, he wrote fashion history with his work and shaped the perception of fashion in Germany decisively. He set the stage for the ever-changing vogues, defined postures and gestures of models, chose props and locations and thus reflected the ideals of beauty and the history of fashion against a changing social background. F.C. Gundlach worked on assignment for various magazines. His first publications were reportages, theatre- and movie reports. Through his work for the magazine Film und Frau he became a fashion photographer. His photographs have been published in many distinguished magazines such as: Deutsche Illustrierte, Stern, Revue, Quick, Elegante Welt, Film und Frau, Annabelle, Brigitte, Twen and Deutsch. For Brigitte alone F.C. Gundlach photographed more than 5500 pages as well as about 180 magazine covers.

Press release from the Martin-Gropius-Bau website [Online] Cited 05/03/2010 no longer available online


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Slow. Karin Mossberg' Nairobi/Kenia 1966


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Slow. Karin Mossberg
Nairobi/Kenia 1966 in Brigitte, Issue 9/1966
Gelatin silver print



Karin Mossberg was born on January 1, 1947 in Linkoping, Ostergotland, Sweden as Agneta Anna Karin Mossberg. She is an actress, known for The Big Cube (1969), La vida nueva de Pedrito de Andía (1965) and Les pianos mécaniques (1965).


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Simone d'Aillencourt. Sheath dress by Horn' Berlin 1957


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Simone d’Aillencourt. Sheath dress by Horn
Berlin 1957 in Film und Frau, Issue Spring/Summer 1957
Gelatin silver print



Simone D’Aillencourt

Simone D’Aillencourt or d’Aillencourt (née Daillencourt, born 22 September 1930) is a retired French model. Her career in modelling, during which she achieved significant success, took place from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s. She is best known as the subject of Melvin Sokolsky’s “Bubble” photographic series taken in Paris for Harper’s Bazaar in 1963. She had two daughters during her marriage to José Bénazéraf.

Simone D’Aillencourt was born on 22 September 1930 in Vizille, the daughter of Leon and Anna Daillencourt.

Her activities in the modeling profession began in England. D’Aillencourt began her successful career in Edinburgh in 1954 after a visit by Lucie Clayton. She posed for the British magazine Vogue and then went back and forth between Britain and France. She worked regularly for Pierre Cardin, sometimes for Jacques Heim, and posed for various magazines such as ElleL’OfficielVogue Paris or also Le Jardin des Modes. Due to her job, she traveled many times, posing for William Klein for whom she would become one of his favourites, Irving Penn, John French, Richard Avedon, or also French photographer Georges Dambier or Jeanloup Sieff, who “often photographed” according to him. Independent while the agencies are then little developed, she was contacted by Eileen Ford and invited to New York. She then met the influential Diana Vreeland, which further propelled her career.

In early 1963, D’Aillencourt was selected by Melvin Sokolsky for his “Bubble” series for Harper’s Bazaar. She had her test shot in colour taken in New York, which the staff of Harper’s Bazaar approved. She flew to Paris on 20 January 1963 to have her photos taken by Sokolsky. During the shoot, the Bubble that D’Aillencourt was in was lowered too far into the Seine, which damaged the designer shoes that she was wearing.

D’Aillencourt made her final series of photographs in India, with photographer Henry Clarke, in 1969 after a successful career of 15 years. Throughout her career, she always kept with the trends over time, from the sophistication of the 1950s to the greatest freedom of clothing the following decade. Some time after she stopped modelling, she founded a modelling agency in Paris, Model International, which quickly grew, and then a second agency of a more modest size, Image. She was married to José Bénazéraf, their second daughter Béatrice also having integrated modeling as a booker. In 2008, D’Aillencourt attended the festival at Hyères to celebrate the exhibitions of Sokolsky’s work.

Text from the Wikipedia website


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Op Art Swimsuit. Brigitte Bauer, Op Art swimsuit by Sinz Vouliagmeni' Greece 1966


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Op Art Swimsuit. Brigitte Bauer, Op Art swimsuit by Sinz Vouliagmeni
Greece 1966
Gelatin silver print


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Rainweather, party sunshiny. Three poplin coats by Staebe-Seger' Berlin 1955


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Rainweather, party sunshiny. Three poplin coats by Staebe-Seger
Berlin 1955
Gelatin silver print


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Romy Schneider' Hamburg 1961


F.C. Gundlach (German, 1926-2021)
Romy Schneider
Hamburg 1961 in Film und Frau, Issue 11/1962
Gelatin silver print



Romy Schneider

Romy Schneider (23 September 1938 – 29 May 1982) was a film actress and voice actress born in Vienna and raised in Germany who held German and French citizenship. She started 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 Visconti’s Ludwig. Schneider moved to France, where she made successful and critically acclaimed films with some of the most notable film directors of that era.

Text from the Wikipedia website



Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin
Niederkirchnerstraße 7
Corner Stresemannstr. 110
10963 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 254 86-0

Opening hours:
Wednesday to Monday 10 – 19 hrs
Tuesday closed

Martin-Gropius-Bau website


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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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