26. September 2017 - 24. March 2018


Wartime and Adventure

Between 1914 and 1945, during the two international wars of aggression and the Spanish Civil War, women took part as war correspondents, whether as professional photographers and journalists, or as amateur photographers or nurses with cameras. They witnessed the care of the wounded in field hospitals, troop entertainments at base and military conflict along the lines, just as they recorded life at home on the domestic front. They opposed the Kaiser, fascists and Nazis, but being female does not automatically mean being a pacifist. For example the Austrian Alice Schalek was fascinated by war. Schalek, the first woman to be accredited as a war photographer, enthusiastically accompanied soldiers as far as the Isonzo mountains in 1914-16, and her verbal skirmishes in the press with the Viennese pacifist Karl Kraus caused quite a stir.

In Germany, women were not allowed onto the battlefields, but most middle-class women proudly volunteered for any task to support the home front. The amateur photographer Käthe Buchler portrayed them 1916 in such roles as tram conductor, postwoman or night watchwoman, mobilising their efforts with slide lectures.

In Britain, it was the suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote and then, when 1914 war broke out, their right to serve in the war. The exhibition shows works by a professional studio portrait photographers from London (Christina Broom, Olive Edis) and snapshots by nurses who, in Belgium (Elsie Knocker, Mairi Chisholm) and in Russia (Florence Farmborough), documented the care of the wounded and everyday war in camp.

Little attention has so far been paid to the women who chronicled the Spanish Civil War, with one exception: Gerda Taro is currently the best-known female war photographer in Europe. Her photos are a political indictment of war, and she focuses on the people, not the weaponry or military events. She met a cruel death  1937 while at work among International Brigades on the front ranks.

World War II saw more women from different countries taking pictures. In winter 1944, Germaine Krull provided detailed reportage from the Allied liberation of Alsace for the military press agency of the Free French forces; Eva Besnyö, exiled in the Netherlands as a persecuted Jew, took photographs of the German destruction of Rotterdam in 1940, before she went into hiding.

The Soviet war correspondents Natalya Bode and Olga Lander made a sensational contribution. Working for the Red Army, they provided pictures for major newspapers, magazines and agencies. We only have a sketchy idea of their lives and work, but their photographs, taken at scenes like the Battle of Stalingrad, are unique documents. Yet when they returned to civilian life, they encountered much distrust and contempt.


The exhibition ends with a few specimens from the scantily researched history of German women working as photographers in World War II (Erika Schmachtenberger, Lala Aufsberg, Liselotte Purper). From occupied Libya (1942) and the Balkans (1941-43), Ilse Steinhoff provided pictures for conforming Nazi publications like “BIZ”, “Signal” and “Die Wehrmacht”.




Bildhauerinnen der Berliner Moderne
18. Februar - 17. Juni 2018

Georg Kolbe Museum
Sensburger Allee 25
14055 Berlin
read more ...  AS A GUEST




Wednesday  27. September 2017  |  19 h


Elisabeth Moortgat
Das Verborgene Museum

Margot Blank
Deutsch-Russisches Museum, Berlin-Karlshorst
Sowjetische Fotokorrespondentinnen 1941-1945


28. September 2017 - 25. March 2018
closed: 21.12.2017 - 03.01.2018


The Museum is only open during the exhibition period !!

Thursday, Friday 15 - 19 h
Saturday, Sunday 12 - 16 h


December 2017:  Book Discount


Schlüterstrasse 70
10625 Berlin-Charlottenburg


S5, 7, 75, 9  Savignyplatz
U2 Ernst-Reuter-Platz,
Bus M49, X34, 101


please refer Contact



+49 (0) 30 313 36 56




FLYER  to the Exhibition


Fotogeschichte – Beiträge zur Geschichte und Ästhetik der Fotografie
Heft 134, 2014, Jg. 34: Kriegsfotografinnen, Marion Beckers, Elisabeth Moortgat (Hg.)
20,00 € an der Museumskasse


Tracking Edith, a documentary film by Peter Stephan Jungk

Die Bauhaus-Schülerin Edith Tudor-Hart war eine herausragende Fotografin, die viele Fotoreportagen veröffentlichte und die sozialen Missstände im 20. Jahrhundert im Blick hatte - trotzdem kennt sie fast keiner. Der Film vermittelt einen Eindruck davon, in welchem Außmaß die Spionage das Leben von Edith Tudor-Hart prägte, zeigt die Stationen ihres Doppellebens und hinterfragt kritisch ihr politisches Engagement. Ein Film über eine Spionin, Fotografin und die Entdeckung eines Familiengeheimnisses.

Beitrag vom 04.11.2017 zum Kinostart im Deutschlandradio Kultur
Peter Stephan Jungk im Gespräch mit Patrick Wellinski | "Sie war eine sehr moderne, eine sehr mutige Frau"

"Tracking Edith" a documentary film by Peter Stephan Jungk | Edith Tudor–Hart, a courageous woman with a misson

Go back