Eugen Gerbert | Gerti

This new photo book(let) series presents analogue photographs and picture archives. Intuition, pure chance, odd encounters, and the slow passage of time helped in discovering the images and archives. All of them have their own remarkable stories: the story of the individual photographer, the story of the photographic subject, the story of each archive and its discovery, and not least the visible story of the unavoidable deterioration of analogue photographs, caused by production, use, and storage. All of the images are reproduced unretouched and thus bear the traces of their history, from the depths of their emulsions to their surfaces.

14,8 × 21 cm
48 pages
59 pictures
Edited by Beate Kemfert, Markus Hartmann
Booklet in cellophane bag
May 2018
ISBN 978-3-96070-022-7
€ 12,–


The photographs in this book are from the extensive archives of Eugen Gerbert (1923– 1995). Although wounded twice he survived the war and returned to his old job at the Reichsbahn (railroad). In 1952 he met his future wife, Gerti (1931–2017), and they married in 1954. Gerti was not only his wife and mother of two sons, but also his muse and favorite life long model. With her he was able to bring his creativity and passion for photography to fruition. Starting in the early 1950s he devotedly photographed his wife for decades. In addition to the obligatory family photographs he produced countless photographs of Gerti—in homemade dresses, in lingerie, wearing a bikini or naked, traveling, at the beach, in the forest, in their car, or at home—until his death. Many of the shots are spontaneous, while others are carefully staged. His enthusiasm for photography never abated. Even at a ripe age, a scantily dressed, mature Gerti can be seen posing on the beach. When he died, the passionate amateur photographer left behind a well-organized archive with tens of thousands of negatives, enlargements, and slides, but also watercolors and elaborate biographical texts. Normally private image archives of this sort are destroyed after the death of their maker —but not in this case. Gerti Gerbert decided to publish the photographs herself after Eugen’s death. She met Siegfried Sander, the Hamburg art dealer and passionate collector of photographic estates and bequeathed her husband’s archives to him, to save them from being forgotten. This publication gives a first concentrated look at the private passion of Eugen Gerbert and fulfills Gerti’s wish that her husband’s photographs be shown publically.

Exhibition: Opelvillen, Rüsselsheim, May 2nd – Juli 29, 2018, as partner project to the International photography triennial RAY