Frankfurt in Pictures

Barbara Klemm

December 29, 2023

An exhibition of works by the renowned Leica photographer is currently on view at the Historisches Museum in Frankfurt/Main, continuing until 1 April 2024.
Barbara Klemm (b. 1939) is one the most widely known chroniclers of recent German history. During her 45-year career as an editorial photographer for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (1970 to 2005), she was responsible for the newspaper’s politics and culture pages. Her pictures of leading personalities from the fields of politics, culture, music and art, as well as her international photo reportages, gained acclaim far beyond the borders of Germany and have been recognised with numerous awards. 

In addition to her assignments all around the world, the photojournalist also captured her impressions of Frankfurt, her home city since 1959. With Frankfurt Bilder (Frankfurt Images), the Historisches Museum now presents around 250 of these works, spanning from the mid-1960s to the present day. The baryta prints on display were enlarged by the photographer herself. 

Klemm’s black and white images combine the perfection of her formal training as a photographer, with her masterful use of the full spectrum of grey tones between pure whites and deep blacks. With an unerring sense for the decisive moment and a clear understanding of what constitutes a good photograph, she documents ordinary and extraordinary moments from the vantage point of a ‘participating observer’. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the same title, released by Steidl Publishing. 
Katrin Ullmann

LFI 1/2020+-

Barbara Klemm: Times. Pictures. Stories. Her pictures have transcended the moment and are seen as a part of history: a homage to Barbara Klemm on the occasion of her 80th birthday More

Barbara Klemm+-

Barbara Klemm025
© Gustav Eckart

Born on December 27, 1939, in Munster, Klemm grew up in a family of artists: her father, Fritz Klemm, was a Professor at the Art Academy in Karlsruhe, who introduced her to photography. In 1958 she completed a photo internship at Julia Bauer’s portrait atelier in Karlsruhe. In 1959 she began work in the photo laboratory of the FAZ newspaper; first photos as a freelancer were published; from 1970 to 2005, full-time editorial photographer for politics and features. Numerous publications and exhibitions. Number of awards (incl.): Dr. Erich Salomon Photography Award, the Hessian Culture Award, and the city of Frankfurt on the Main’s Max Beckmann Award; Leica Hall of Fame 2012. Barbara Klemm lives in Frankfurt on the Main. More


Frankfurt in Pictures

Barbara Klemm