Hilde in Italia
The prints created by the expert eye from German photographer Hilde Lotz-Bauer are part of the photo exhibition hosted at the Museo di Roma in Trastevere.
The exhibition is promoted by Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Cultura, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali. Organisation Archivio Hilde Lotz-Bauer. Curated by Federica Kappler and Corinna Lotz, daughter of Hilde Lotz-Bauer. Museum services by Zètema Progetto Cultura.
A true pioneer of street photography Hilde Lotz-Bauer photographed Italy in the 1930s, bringing to us unique images of the lives of ordinary people, places and artistic treasures of Italy. Hilde Bauer (1907-1999), first married to Degenhart and then to Lotz, developed a personal and original artistic outlook during her first stay in Italy between 1934 and 1943. As soon as she set foot on the peninsula, she fell madly in love with it. Rome, in particular, was a fundamental place for Hilde, lived and felt until the end as her true home; a city that at the Non-Catholic Cemetery preserves her memories today.
Approximately one hundred photographs come to the exhibition from the Hilde Lotz-Bauer archive in London, the two Max Planck Institutes for Art History - the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence - and the collection of photographer Franz Schlechter in Heidelberg.
Trained as a photographer at the Munich school after having already obtained a doctorate in Art History, she arrived in Rome at the end of 1934 thanks to a travel grant at the Bibliotheca Hertziana, leaving her homeland just as National Socialism came to power.
Her career began by photographing drawings for her first husband Bernhard Degenhart, a famous Italian drawing scholar. Subsequently, she accompanied the research of numerous art historians with her photography; on display are images from the project on Frederick II's Castles in Southern Italy directed by the art historian Leo Bruhns as well as a selection of photographs for the project on Florentine town planning commissioned by the director of the Florentine Institute Friedrich Kriegbaum. Hilde was the only professional photographer working at the Historical Institutes of Rome and Florence, producing impeccable images of sculpture, drawing, architecture and town planning.
At the same time, either on commissioned projects or for the sheer pleasure of discovery, the photographer travelled almost the whole of Italy, from north to south, moving among the people with her small portable Leica capturing the life of the cities as well as the more isolated rural areas, capturing almost unnoticed the humanity that inhabited these territories during the years of the Fascist Ventennio.
Much of Lotz-Bauer's artistic work known to date focuses strongly on everyday and festive occasions, especially in Abruzzo. The women portrayed in the series on Scanno, immortalised in their handmade costumes, appear as living works of art. Hilde paid careful attention to the aesthetic composition and details, transforming the reportages into a unique artistic work, rich in personal insights and also critically and socially documentary.
At the end of the 1970s, Hilde's photographs were presented for the first time in exhibitions in Florence, Bonn and London, to critical acclaim. In 1993 she collaborated with the photographer Franz Schlechter, who restored and printed 80 images taken with a Leica depicting Italian people, landscapes and cities for a solo exhibition at the Reiss Museum in Mannheim.
On the occasion of this exhibition, the overall oeuvre realised in the decade 1934-1943 is presented, highlighting and dialoguing, for the first time, the two major aspects of her production: commissions for art historians and reportage photography, the view of an art historian and that of a photographer.
From 17 January to 5 May 2024
Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 20.00
Last admission one hour before closing
Closed Mondays, 1 May and 25 December
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Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Cultura, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Hilde Lotz-Bauer Archives, in collaboration with Officine Fotografiche Roma and Goethe Institut
Panzoo, Viviroma.it, Terza Pagina Magazine
With the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Firecom automotive srl, Fredriksson arkitektkontor AB, Marie-Thérèse Ficnar-Usteri and Frances Aviva Blane.
Zètema Progetto Cultura