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An exploration of photographic history

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For decades, a phantom idea has kept appearing in discussion rounds and arts magazines: a Museum of Photography. Some say it is indispensable – others question if it is really necessary.

Photo-chemist and dedicated collector Erich Stenger (1878–1957) viewed the photographs in his collection not as works of art, but as scientific documents of photographic techniques. The intention behind his collection was its presentation within a museum context. From very early on, Stenger maintained his vision of a technique-based Museum of Photography, for which his comprehensive collection was to be the basis.

To categorise his collection, Stenger used the same scientific approach as he did in his work as a photo-chemist. Today, it is owned by Agfa, and forms an important part of the photography collection at Cologne's Ludwig Museum – a venue primarily dedicated to the presentation of art. In this context, the exhibition The Museum of PhotographyA Revision not only offers an in-depth understanding of the evolution of the medium, but also explores the relationship between scientific documentation and art.

For further information visit Ludwig Museum

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