This fall the Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung is celebrating its twentieth anniversary and we would like to honor this milestone with a comprehensive exhibition of Alfred Ehrhardt’s multifaceted work!
The anniversary exhibition is curated by director Dr. Christiane Stahl, curators Stefanie Odenthal and Dr. Marie Christine Jádi, and photo conservator Rosa Russo. Under the heading “four women, four views,” we are presenting very personal highlights from Alfred Ehrhardt’s (1901–84) work and the foundation’s extensive archive holdings. This includes favorite pieces and favorite stories, never-before presented works, previously lost works, and archive materials waiting for their secrets to be revealed. The full spectrum of universal talent Alfred Ehrhardt’s work will be presented—from painting to photography to film, with astounding, exciting, and stimulating discoveries to be made.
This includes a newly discovered work in tempera, which only recently turned up in a portfolio, together with other unknown, outstanding works on paper, in the attic of the artist’s son. Also, for the first time, a selection of photographs is dedicated not to the diverse motifs of the well-known series Das Watt (The Tidelands) but focuses instead on the range of photographic materials represented in the foundation’s archive. Moreover, we offer insight into our archive work using as an example the still completely undiscovered series Deutschlandfahrt 49, showing how some images first needed to be linked to geographic locations and to have their unanswered questions solved. Lastly, the exhibition takes up the photo negative as a subject of observation, research, and dating: starting with a glass negative, we explore photography’s hidden mysteries and the innate beauty of these mostly unseen artifacts.
Our intimate, in-house cinema will offer a unique viewing experience where we will be screening a thirty-minute compilation of Alfred Ehrhardt’s award-winning experimental 35 mm short films, whose re-digitization in 4K quality was made possible with funding from the FFA (German Federal Film Board). The highlight of our milestone will then be the presentation of these films on the big screen: a Germany-wide retrospective curated by Hamburg film historian Thomas Tode marking the twentieth anniversary of the Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung will open on November 18, 2022 at the renowned Babylon (Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 30, 10178 Berlin).
Twenty years of the Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung means being able to look back on more than 140 exhibitions at home and abroad, thirty catalogues, 140 events, 20,000 visitors a year; the renovation of Alfred Ehrhardt’s birthplace and the establishment of a museum space in Triptis; the uncovering of Alfred Ehrhardt’s ceiling paintings in the monastery church of Lamspringe; the cataloging of 20,000 silver gelatin prints, 13,000 negatives, and his comprehensive writings and correspondence; the restoration of 1,000 glass negatives and the digitization in cinema quality of the twelve most important, award-winning experimental films by Alfred Ehrhardt. Over the past twenty years of studying, evaluating, indexing, cataloging, digitizing, and restoring, there has been much to discover!
The volume Alfred Ehrhardt—Malerei, 208 pages, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt 2022, 40.- €, is being published on the occasion of the jubilee.