schwarz-weiß Fotografie mit einer Reisegruppe bei einer Bergbesteigung in Kolumbien

InsideViews. The photographic collection of the State Ethnographic Collections of Saxony

The three ethnographical museums in Leipzig, Dresden and Herrnhut possess an elaborate collection of photographs from nearly all world regions. These holdings have been digitalized and scientifically catalogued since autumn 2014.

  • DATES 01/04/2015—21/06/2015


The holdings of the photographic collections span a time between the end of the 19th century until the present. The reconditioning of the photographs happens simultaneously with their revaluation: They are now being defined as objects which tell their own stories and whose materialities – may it either be a paper print or a diapositive – give insights on their functions.

schwarz-weiß Fotografie mit einer Reisegruppe bei einer Bergbesteigung in Kolumbien
Horst Martin, Aufstieg zum Novado del Tolima, um 1940 Kolumbien, 13x9 cm, Silbergelatinenpapier


„Ethnographic“ photography comprises of different material: travel and expedition photography, anthropometric shoots as well as studio photography and photo-based field research. Different perspectives on the unfamiliar are herewith represented.

The collection of photographs by the teacher Horst Martin (1902-1962) demonstrates the commitment of an ethnographic interested amateur in an exemplary manner. The holdings are stored in the Ethnographical Museum Dresden and are in part exhibited. Martin worked at the German Schools in Temuco in the Chile, in Bogotá in Columbia and in Mexico City. Starting in Bogotá, he travelled through Columbia and visited Guatemala and Ecuador. The black-and-white photographs, some are snapshots, others are well composed, that were taken on his trips, are geographical image material that at the same time gives insights into Horst Martin’s specific interests. He took pictures of landscapes and people, everyday situations and had an eye for the things that were special to him. The many film reels, that he carefully filed, are a treasure to be discovered.


Spanning many collections at the Dresden State Art Collections, the digitalization and cataloguing of the photographic collection is part of the exhibition and research program “Europa/Welt” that is supported by the Museum and Research Foundation.

schwarz-weiß Fotografie mit einer Gruppe Reisender zu Pferde
Horst Martin, Aufbruch zur nächsten Reisestation auf 3000 Meter Höhe, 1838/39 Kolumbien, Silbergelatinenpapier

weitere Ausstellungen

Further Exhibitions
17/06/2016 —16/10/2016
schwarze Landmassen vor einer hellblauen Landkarte
22/04/2015 —23/08/2015

Waurá - Indians at the Rio Xingú

in Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

Festlich geschmückte Indianer-Jungen
17/03/2017 —10/09/2017
Mann mit Tattoo
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