17 September 2021 until 20 March 2022
Hildegard Heise

The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G) is presenting the first-ever comprehensive survey of the work of photographer Hildegard Heise (1897–1979). The photographs she produced between 1928 and the early 1970s are a revelation. In 1930, Heise exhibited at the “Internationale Ausstellung Das Lichtbild” in Munich alongside avant-garde photo-graphers including Max Burchartz, Andreas Feininger, Hans Finsler,  Hein Gorny and Anneliese Kretschmer. She then continued to pursue her artistic practice in the post-war period mainly in private. Heise’s photo-graphs are in keeping with the contemporary trend of New Objectivity, emphasising the surface, structure and form of the subjects and often focusing in on details. But she also discovered a special talent for portraying children, which she continued to hone over the decades. On her travels between 1937 and 1970, she combined portraiture with landscape to create striking images. Even in the post-war period, Hildegard Heise remained true to her matter-of-fact, sober approach. Her estate comprises some 3,000 photographs and is housed at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G).

Image: Hildegard Heise (1897–1979), portrait, 1937/38, gelatin silver print, 17.3 x 22.4 cm © Matthias Biermann-Ratjen (Detail)