The Female Photographer
Bertha Wehnert-Beckmann (1815-1901)
25th January to 26th April 2015
Opening: Sunday, 25th January 2015, 11am
Böttchergäßchen 3, 04109 Leipzig
The 200th birthday of the first professional female photographer in Europe is marked by a comprehensive exhibition paying tribute to an extraordinary woman from Leipzig. The daguerreotypes by Bertha Wehnert-Beckmann in the stock of the Leipzig Museum of City History are among the most valuable exhibits regarding the early history of photography.
She worked in her photographic studio in New York from 1849 to 1851. Her customers included ambassadors, and politicians: even the then president of the USA, Millard Fillmore, visited her studio. After her return to Leipzig, the first nude photographs in Leipzig were taken at her studio.
Following the invention of stereo-photography, she devoted herself to this new technology. Between 1855 and 1860, many architectural photographs, which are among the first authentic images of the city, were taken by her. These included a photo of the Peter’s Gate, which was demolished in 1860.
Photographs of the citizens of Leipzig at the time, including many famous people, like Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Franz Dominic Grassi, Karl Heine and many others, form a large part of her legacy.
Works by Bertha Wehnert-Beckmann are represented in major collections in Hamburg, Cologne and Munich, as well as in the USA and Canada.