Deichtorhallen Hamburg mourn the passing of F.C. Gundlach (1926 – 2021)

As a patron and curator of photographic art, F.C. Gundlach gave his extensive collection to the Hamburg Deichtorhallen on permanent loan in 2003. “We mourn the passing of Prof. F.C. Gundlach, who died on 23 July 2021 in Hamburg at the age of 95. F.C. Gundlach devoted his life entirely to photography, as an outstanding photographer, entrepreneur, gallerist, collector, curator, teacher, director, benefactor and patron.”

The House of Photography, seen from the Oberhafen.
Photo: Conny Hilker

© Conny Hilker

With the associated founding of the House of Photography, a long-held wish of F.C. Gundlach's, which began with the founding of the "Arbeitskreis für Photographie" in 1993 and the initiation of the first Triennale der Photographie in Hamburg in 1999, came true. F.C. Gundlach 2003: "I am particularly pleased that the city of Hamburg has decided to give my collection such a representative location in the southern Deichtorhalle. The 'House of Photography' is also intended to become a meeting place, a vital institution that, with changing exhibitions, workshops and symposia, will give the medium of photography the attention it deserves." This opened up the possibility for Hamburg to successfully join the circle of similar institutions that had long existed in France, Switzerland and the USA.

"F.C. Gundlach, a great photographer and photographic visionary was one of the first to fight for the acceptance of photography as an art form. As early as 1975, he founded the PPS. Galerie F.C. Gundlach, one of the first photo galleries in Germany, and began to build up his photographic collection - long before photography had a permanent place in museums and the art market discovered it," says Prof. Dr. Dirk Luckow, Artistic Director of the Deichtorhallen Hamburg. "It is thanks to his intense passion for collecting that his collection can today be counted among the most important private photographic collections of international standing. We are very proud to look after this extraordinary collection, to conceive exhibitions from it and to develop an extensive supporting programme from it, thus keeping F.C. Gundlach's life's work alive."

"F.C. Gundlach was always a highly valued advisor and source of inspiration for us, even beyond his active phase as founding director of the House of Photography from 2003 to 2005 - his voice carried weight in Hamburg and far beyond, he was regarded as the doyen of photography in Germany. It is thanks to him, through the founding of the Triennale of Photography and the House of Photography, that Hamburg is the capital of photography in Germany," adds Bert Antonius Kaufmann, Commercial Director of the Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

F.C. Gundlach has received numerous honours for his tireless commitment to photography, including the Federal Cross of Merit with Ribbon, professorships at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, the Culture Prize of the German Society for Photography, the most important German photography prize, the Henri Nannen Prize and many more.

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