Ellen Auerbach – Berlin • Tel Aviv • New York Een fotografische wereldreis / A Photographic Trip around the World
From the inventory of the art collection at the Akademie der Künste, the Museum de Fundatie, located in Zwolle in the Netherlands, is showing a retrospective of the work of the photographer Ellen Auerbach (1906-2004), including approximately 130 exceptional and in part unpublished photographs.
Ellen Auerbach began her photographic career in Berlin. Together with Grete Stern she founded the studio “ringl + pit,” specializing in advertising photographs and studio photography. Such work was still unusually emancipated for women at the time, but this new trend was already on the rise. After the National Socialists seized power in 1933, Auerbach had to leave Germany because she was Jewish. Traveling via Palestine and England, she emigrated to the USA, where she lived until her death in 2004. From her new home in New York, she made numerous trips to South America and Europe in the postwar period. Ellen Auerbach described herself as cosmopolitan, and as someone who felt at home everywhere.
The wide range of her photographic motifs span from early advertising photography, to portrait and landscape photographs, to street photography. In parallel to Ellen Auerbach’s photographs as well as short films, the Museum de Fundatie is showing works by Barbara Klemm, an important German photojournalist who rediscovered Auerbach for Berlin. Klemm was chiefly responsible that Auerbach’s photographs now receive the international attention due to them and that her estate came into the archives of the Akademie der Künste.