From the Series: Photographers, Friendships, and the Unique Gruber Collection
In 1977 the L. Fritz and Renate Gruber Collection laid the foundation for the photography collection at the Museum Ludwig. Icons of photographic history from Man Ray, Cecil Beaton, or August Sander offer a panorama of twentieth-century photography. Yet the Gruber Collection is not only unique due to the photographs themselves, but also in light of its genesis. The collection took shape as a result of the collectors’ longtime friendships with the photographers. On the occasion of her eightieth birthday in July 2016, Renate Gruber shares her very personal memories of twenty photographers who are now among the most famous of the twentieth century in our series "Photographers, Friendships, and the Unique Gruber Collection."
Alvin Langdon Coburn (b. June 11, 1882 in Boston, † November 23, 1966 in Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay, Nordwales) already experimented with photography as early as 1898. In 1901/02, he opened a photography studio in New York City. He met Alfred Stieglitz, who was the first to exhibit European Avantgarde artists in in New York, and was one of the founders of the "Photo-Secession". As a portrait photographer, he portrayed numerous celebrities, while at the same time taking pictures of City- and Landscapes with a focus on their atmosphere and moods. He experimented with cameras without lenses and soft-focus and created an extraordinary mood in his pictures. In 1912, he moved to rural Wales. After 1918 until his death in 1966, he abandoned photography and devoted his studies to spiritualism, mysticism, and freemasonry.