Collection: F.C.GUNDLACH

F.C. Gundlach (Franz Christian Gundlach, born 16. July 1926 in Heinebach, died 23. July 2021 in Hamburg) was a photographer, gallery owner, collector, curator, teacher and founder. In September 2003, he became the Founding Director of the House of Photography in Deichtorhallen, Hamburg.

His fashion photography of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, which deals with social phenomena and current trends in the visual arts, achieved iconic status, left its original context behind and found its way into museums and collections.

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As a fashion photographer who uses the recording medium for his productions, the photographer must live, think and feel in his time. Fashion photographs are always interpretations and stagings. They reflect and visualize the present zeitgeist and anticipate tomorrow's spirit. They offer projection screens for identification but also dreams, wishes and desires. And yet fashion photographs often say more about a time than documentary photographs pretending to have depicted reality.

F.C. Gundlach at the opening of F.C. Gundlach. The Photographic Work at the Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin 2009

F.C. Gundlach was active as a producer of renowned national and international exhibition projects, promoter of young photographic talents, preserver of extraordinary photographic estates, consultant, and visionary in the sense of the medium of photography.


  • July 16, 1926, Born in Heinebach/Germany

  • Parents Heinrich Gundlach (1894-1954) and Katharina Gundlach (1896-1968) run the restaurant Zum Löwen in Heinebach; 1929 birth of brother Gerhard.

  • 1936 The first camera, an Agfa Box with automatic release

  • 1938 Installation of a darkroom

  • 1936-1943 Jacob Grimm Grammar School, Rotenburg/Fulda
  • 1947-1949 Training as a photographer at the Private Lehranstalt für Moderne Lichtbildkunst (Private School for Modern Photography) under Rolf W. Nehrdich in Kassel
  • 1949-1953 Worked as an assistant in various studios:
    Hollywood studios (Photo-Labor Ernst O. Keller) in Wiesbaden

  • Studio Ingeborg Hoppe in Stuttgart
  • Until 1953 freelance assistant to Harry Meerson in Paris

  • Since 1949 publications in radio and TV magazines such as Film Revue, Funk-Illustrierte and Gong

  • Star portraits, reportages and fashion reports in magazines such as Elegante Welt, Film und Frau und Stern

  • 1950 First travels to France
  • 1951 Exhibition F.C. Gundlach at the Librairie Jean Robert, Paris
  • 1952 Business registration in Stuttgart as "photojournalist"
  • Founding of Studio 50 

  • Publications in radio and fashion magazines also under the pseudonyms Studio 50, Fenner-Foto and Davidis, advertising photography for Heinzelmann and other clients.

  • 1953 Start of intensive collaboration with Film und Frau, for which he photographed more than 100 covers and over 2,500 pages in the editorial fashion section until 1966

  • 1956 Moves to Hamburg

  • 1954-1966 Besides working for Film and Frau, assignments for Constanze, Stern, Quick and other magazines
  • Location trips to Africa and Asia as well as North, Central and South America

  • Advertising for Jobis, Maris, IWS and fur companies like Saga, Thompson, Berger
  • Since 1955 cooperation with Deutsche Lufthansa, photography on the opening flights to North America, South America with the Super Constellation and many other flights.
  • 1963 Start of intensive cooperation with Brigitte, for which he photographed more than 180 cover pictures and over 5500 pages of editorial fashion section until 1986
  • 1966 Exclusive contract with Brigitte
  • 1966-1986 Location trips to Africa, Asia, and North and South America
  • In addition to working for Brigitte, publications in Annabelle, Revue and other journals

  • Advertising photography for Falke Fashion, Van Delden, Sinz and others

  • 1967 Founding of CC (Creative Color)

  • 1971 Founding of PPS. (Professional Photo Service) as a service company for photographers with b/w and colour laboratories, equipment retail, rental studios and specialist bookshops

  • 1976 Foundation of CCD Galerie and PPS. Galerie F.C. Gundlach, one of the first photo galleries in Germany, presenting around 200 thematic and monographic exhibitions until 1992
  • 1988 Appointment as Professor at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin
  • Since 1989 curator for photo historical and photo theoretical exhibitions

  • 1992 Sale of the PPS. group of companies

  • 1993 Foundation of the Arbeitskreis Photographie in Hamburg, organisation of exhibitions and symposia
  • 1999 Initiator of the Triennial of Photography Hamburg
  • 2000 Establishment of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation with the aim of maintaining, exhibiting and expanding the photography collection "The Image of Mankind in Photography", which had been built up since 1975, as well as his own work
  • 2002 2nd Triennial of Photography Hamburg
  • 2003 Appointment as founding director for the House of Photography, Deichtorhallen Hamburg

  • Loan of the F.C. Gundlach Collection to the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

  •  2004 Conversion of the southern Deichtorhalle

  • 2005 3rd Triennial of Photography Hamburg
  • Reopening of the House of Photography with the exhibition Martin Munkacsi - Think while you shoot!
  • 4th Triennial of Photography Hamburg

  • 2008 Retrospective exhibition F.C. Gundlach - The photographic Work in the House of Photography

  • 5th Triennial of Photography

  • 2015 The medium is entitled to provide food for thought, CFA Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin
  • 6th Triennial of Photography

  • 2016 Peter Keetman - Shaping the World at Museum Folkwang Essen and House of Photography Hamburg

  • 2017 Peter Keetman - Shaping the World in the Kunstfoyer Munich

  • 23. July 2021 Died in Hamburg


  • 1972 Appointed to the German Society for Photography (DGPh)
  • 1976 - 1996 Board member of the German Society of Photography (DGPh)
  • 1976 - 1987 Board member of the Professional Association of Freelance Photo-Designers (BFF)
  •  1980 Appointment as a member of the German Photographic Academy (DFA)
  • 1988 Honorary Board member of the Professional Association of Freelance Photo-Designers (BFF)
  • 1996 Golden Honorary Pin of the German Society for Photography (DGPh)

  • 1997 Federal Cross of Merit with ribbon
  • 1998 Golden George Eastman Medal for outstanding services to German photography
  • 2000 honorary professorship at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts
  • 2000 Appointment to the Freie Akademie der Künste in Hamburg
  • 2000 - 2003 Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Deutsches Centrum für Photographie Berlin
  • 2001 Culture Prize of the German Society for Photography (DGPh)
  • 2006 Medal for Art and Science of the Hamburg Parliament
  • 2008 Honorary citizen of Alheim/Heinebach
  • 2009 Forum Prize of the Textile Industry
  • 2011 Culture Prize of the State of Hesse

  • 2012 Henri Nannen Prize
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