Bodo von Dewitz

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Bodo Balthasar von Dewitz (born April 11, 1950 in Göttingen ; † November 17, 2017 in Bonn ) was a German art historian . His main focus was historical photography.


After starting a commercial apprenticeship in the art trade, Bodo von Dewitz initially studied German, history and education in Hamburg from 1971 to 1976. After the state examination, he studied art history in Berlin and Hamburg from 1977 to 1985, which he completed with a doctorate. phil. graduated from Martin Warnke . Already during his studies he made an inventory of the daguerreotype collection in the Hamburg Museum of Art and Industry . In 1985 he took over the management of the Agfa Photo Historama in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum / Museum Ludwig in Cologne. He later became head of the photographic collections and deputy director of the Museum Ludwig. Bodo von Dewitz retired in spring 2013.

As early as 2004, the Philosophical Faculty of the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn , where he has been teaching since 1989, awarded him the title of honorary professor .

Bodo von Dewitz was married and had two children.


Bodo von Dewitz designed a large number of outstanding and highly regarded exhibitions, his first on war photography during his studies at the Städtisches Museum Braunschweig, which he then made the subject of his dissertation. When the Agfa Foto-Historama was to be auctioned in 2005, he managed to have the photo collection recognized as a national cultural asset and thus save 11,000 photos for the Cologne museum. He was also able to manage the collection of historical photographs by Robert Lebeck , photographs by Ursula Schulz-Dornburg , the Reisewitz archive ( fotoform ), the Daniela Mrázkowá collection with photographs of the Russian avant-garde and, most recently, the Man Ray - L. Fritz Gruber Archive for the Museum Ludwig acquire.

Exhibitions (selection)

  • The Agfa Photo Historama in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum / Museum Ludwig of the City of Cologne, 1986
  • On the sweet shores of Asia. Egypt, Palestine, Ottoman Empire - Travel Destinations of the 19th Century in Early Photographs, 1988
  • Hugo Erfurth - photographer between tradition and modernity, 1992
  • Cathedral - temple - sculpture. Architectural photographs by Walter Hege , 1993
  • Italy - see and die. Photographs from the Risorgimento period (1845–1870), 1994
  • Silver and salt: the early days of photography in the German-speaking area 1839–1860, 1989
  • All truth! All lie! Photography and Reality in the 19th Century, ( Robert Lebeck Collection ), 1996
  • The Journey to the Nile: 1849–1850; Maxime Ducamp and Gustave Flaubert in Egypt, Palestine and Syria, 1997
  • Treasure houses of photography. The collection of the Prince of Wied, 1998
  • David Octavius ​​Hill & Robert Adamson . From the beginnings of artistic photography in the 19th century, 2000
  • Kiosk. A history of photo reportage, (Robert Lebeck Collection), 2001
  • I can see what you can not see! Seeing machines and worlds of images, ( Werner Nekes Collection ), 2002
  • Shooting Stalin - The Wonderful Years of the Photographer James Abbe , 2004
  • Facts - facts. Photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries, 2006
  • Chargesheimer 1924–1971: Bohémien from Cologne, 2007
  • Marinus - Heartfield : political photomontages of the 1930s, 2008
  • Pictures make people: The staging of people in photography, 2008
  • La bohème. The artist's staging in photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries, Landesmuseum Koblenz, 2010
  • Political images. Soviet photographs, (Mrázkowá collection), 2009
  • Great moments of glamor - images of society, artist portraits and fashion photographs of the 20th century, 2011
  • Art Spiegelman - co-mix. A retrospective of comics, drawings and other scribbles, 2012
  • Man Ray - L. Fritz Gruber Archive, 2013

Works (selection)

In addition to the catalogs for the exhibitions mentioned, Bodo von Dewitz published

  • Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and other images from the early days of photography. With Fritz Kempe. Series: Documents of Photography Volume 2, Museum for Art and Industry, Hamburg 1983.
  • Agfa Photo Historama Cologne. Westermann, Braunschweig 1988.
  • This is how war is waged with us. Amateur photography in the First World War. tuduv study, Munich 1989.
  • Hugo Erfurth: Image of man and portrait of celebrities 1902–1936. Wienand, Cologne 1989.
  • Traffic. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern-Ruit 2005.
  • Beauty, power, transience: photographs from the collection of His Royal Highness Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Braunschweig and Lüneburg. Steidl , Göttingen 2009.
  • The story of Gostilitzy: Palace and estate of Carl von Siemens near St. Petersburg. Werner Siemens Foundation, Thomas Helms Verlag , Schwerin 2009.
  • "... they do it again in the family!" Curiosity about the past: the story of the von Dewitz family in pictures. Ed. Zs. with Michael and Werner von Dewitz, Thomas Helms Verlag , Schwerin 2013.
  • Werner from Siemens. His life, his work and his family. Life's work in pictures . Thomas Helms Verlag Schwerin 2016, ISBN 978-3-944033-39-6 .
  • Carl von Siemens. His life, his work and his family. Life's work in pictures . Thomas Helms Verlag Schwerin 2016, ISBN 978-3-944033-40-2 .
  • I loved bright colors. The painter Charlotte E. Pauly . Thomas Helms Verlag Schwerin 2018, ISBN 978-3-944033-16-7 .


In 2002 he and Robert Lebeck received the Annual Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography , New York, for the exhibition “Kiosk” .


Individual evidence

  1. Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger of November 21, 2017: Obituary: A life with salt and silver (KoM) , accessed on November 22, 2017
  2. ^ Website of the newsletter photography