Academic journal article Afterimage

L. Fritz Gruber (1908-2005)

Academic journal article Afterimage

L. Fritz Gruber (1908-2005)

Article excerpt

Photographer, publisher and founder of the German Society of Photography, L. Fritz Gruber, died on March 31, 2005 in his native Cologne, Germany, just a few months short of his 97th birthday. Gruber was born in 1908 at the end of the Wilhelmine era of pre-war Germany. He studied philosophy and languages at the University of Cologne and began a career in photography at an early age. As the Nazis began to take power in Germany, Gruber co-founded two weekly newspapers, the Kolner Kurier and Westdeutscher Kurier, which were prescient in their warnings of a Nazi takeover and the politics of the Hitler regime. By April 1933 the papers were closed by the Nazis, and Gruber emigrated to London where he continued to work in photography and published many articles on the history of photography. He later became an outstanding collector of photographs. His collection resides in Cologne's Ludwig Museum.

After World War II, Gruber returned to his bombed-out hometown and worked as the official photographer for the British Military Headquarters. In 1947 he organized the first large photography exhibition in West Germany and in 1949 began work on the first "Photo-Kino" Convention. In 1950, under the new name of Photokina, the biennial convention took shape in Cologne. …

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