28 November 2013 until 11 May 2014
Surveying the Speicherstadt
The Photography Department in Context

In the 1880s the Southern residential part of Hamburg’s old town is turned into a warehouse island. Before the entire district is being demolished the constructional deputation commissions Georg Koppmann to photograph it. The photographer acts as the archivist and records the historic houses, streets and squares worth noting on the Kehrwieder-Wandrahm-Island, along what is today known as the Customs canal. This is where in the following years the warehouse district rises, the core of the newly founded Free Port. Georg Koppmann takes photographs of both, the organic structure of buildings that had formed over centuries in 1883/84, and the new harbour in 1888. His photos tell of pre-industrial life and trade at the edge of the harbour showing all the different social groupings. At the same time they record how Hamburg, guided by economic interests, reinvented itself as the city by the water. The exhibition presents more than 30 photographs from the Photography Department.

Fig.: Georg Koppmann, “Bei den Mühren, looking towards St. Catherine’s Church“, 1884, Albumen, 27,1 x 38,6 cm, MKG