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Ruhr Valley 1928–1933

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The Ruhr Museum in Essen offers a chance to make a rare discovery: 200 predominantly unpublished or forgotten photographs of the Ruhr Valley, taken by the Dortmund-based writer and photographer Erich Grisar (1898–1955), are displayed at the museum until 28 August 2016. The images paint a rather unexpected picture of the Ruhr Area and particularly the city of Dortmund in the later days of the Weimar Republic.


In the years from 1928 to 1933, Grisar captured everyday scenes in the Ruhr Area – creating keenly-observed, black and white photographs in a social documentary style. Like his work as a writer, Grisar’s photography was dedicated to the everyday working lives of his contemporaries, portraying particularly the working class environment with great precision. The numerous photographs of children at work and at play are among the exhibition’s most extraordinary discoveries.

The show forms part of an extensive collaboration between the Ruhr Museum, which uncovered Grisar’s photographic work in conjunction with the Dortmund City Archive, where the images were stored, and the Zeche Zollern LWL Industrial Museum, which will subsequently host the exhibition from 24 February 2017 to 8 October 2017.  

For further information visit Ruhr Museum, Stadtarchiv Dortmund and LWL-Industriemuseum

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