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EVENTS

25.06.2019

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On 27 June, the Ernst Leitz Museum in Wetzlar officially opened its doors. To kick off, the museum presents a major retrospective on Dr. Paul Wolff and Alfred Tritschler. The extensive historical-critical display of works by the two pioneers of Leica photography will occupy around 1000 square metres of exhibition space. In our interview, museum director Reiner Packeiser talks about his work at the Ernst Leitz Museum.

LFI: What do you find especially exciting about this new endeavour?
Packeiser: Leica is, without doubt. What particularly appeals to me is the development aspect of the task ahead. I also appreciate the powerful impact of good photography, and am aware of the remarkable exhibition space the museum represents. We have remarkable company archives and an outstanding photography collection. It is our aim to establish the museum as a venue of international renown.

How can the Ernst Leitz Museum avoid being seen purely as a Leica brand museum?
The Ernst Leitz Museum must navigate the line between brand museum and photography museum. As a venue it is dedicated to the past, present and future of photography. So I believe that our visitors have every reason to expect a diverse exhibition programme, covering everything from fine-art photography to the company’s history and camera technology. This means that some presentations will indeed be very brand-specific. Equally, however, we are planning to collaborate with other museums to create joint exhibitions that might also tour other venues. These are projects that go beyond the scope of a brand museum, and will
help cement the museum’s international reputation.

Generally speaking, what does a museum have to offer in order to appeal to modern-day audiences?
The International Council of Museums, has created a definition of ‘museum’ that revolves around terms such as procurement, conservation, research, promotion, presentation. These concepts are, of course, very important. Especially in our digital times, people go to a museum in order to experience the aura of the authentic. Our aim is not just to display objects or works of art, but to convey the story that surrounds them.

To what extent will excerpts from the Leica archives be featured?
Many visitors come to Leitz-Park to immerse themselves in Leica history and technology, and we are committed to giving them exactly what they came for. Our archives are a treasure trove of historical cameras, accessories, publications, vintage prints, films and much more, which we are very keen to showcase.

Read the whole interview in LFI 3/2019.
Interior view Ernst Leitz Museum during construction
The book accompanying the exhibition
Exhibition under construction
Ernst Leitz Museum
Precision work for the arrangement
In construction: Essential tools
Exhibition under construction
The (almost) finished exhibition
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