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A German Photographer in Poland

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Ernst Stewner (1907–1996) was one of the most prominent practitioners of photography in Poznan and the Greater Poland region during the years from 1932 to 1945. Only a fragment of his work survived the war. In spring 2010, his daughter’s private collection yielded the rediscovery of around 1200 images taken during the interwar years.

It was a selection the photographer himself had evacuated from Poznan in light of the approaching Soviet army in 1944, and subsequently brought to West Germany in February 1945. Since then, the collection had stayed in the family without ever being publicly displayed. It has now been integrated into the photographic archive of the Herder Institute (Centre for Historical Eastern Central Europe Research) in Marburg, Germany.

The exhibition, which continues at the Stewner Gallery in Lübeck until 21 December 2017, is the most comprehensive presentation of this body of work to date. Around 40 photographs are on display, comprising both original vintage prints and photographs developed from the retrieved negatives. Categorised into different themes, the photographs feature the city of Poznan, Polish towns, the Greater Poland region, ethnographic photographs and portraits.

A bilingual catalogue accompanies the exhibition. It contains texts, essays by Polish and German researchers and art historians on the work of Ernst Strewner, as well as a selection of 160 of the artist’s photographs.

For further information visit Galerie Stewner as well as Herder-Institut

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