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Marta Astfalck-Vietz: photographs 1924-1936

Publication Date
  • N Visual Arts (General) For Photography
  • See Tr
  • Tr Photography
  • History
  • Political Science


The Berlin photographer Marta Astfalck-Vietz was active in the Weimar Republic, between 1924 and 1936. Her work was re-discovered in 1989 by the curator Janos Frecot, who staged a solo exhibition of her work in the Berlinische Galerie in 1991, and her archive, comprising just over 400 prints, is now held there. Since this show, the work of Marta Astfalck-Vietz has rarely been exhibited. In both German and Anglo-American scholarship it has received sporadic attention; the only text devoted to her work is still the catalogue to Frecot’s 1991 show. This thesis presents her photography to an Anglo-American audience, not as a compensatory exercise in retrieving a forgotten woman artist, but as a contribution to the existing body of literature on women in the Weimar era. Like other female artists of the period, Marta Astfalck-Vietz negotiated between her private experiences of life in the Republic and representations of its social and political tensions, which were circulated in novels, in films, on the stage, and in magazines. Her photographs address the issues of sex gender and race that preoccupy historians of Weimar Germany, confirming, confounding, and expanding our knowledge of the era.

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