Quote: "A large portion of my work is concerned with people because people are the most inventive and news-making part of our lives. Yet I am as much attracted to the evidence of their presence and efforts, whether good or evil, as I am to the people themselves."

Erich Hartmann joined Magnum Photos in 1951 and became a full Member in 1954.

Erich Hartmann
American, b. Germany 1922, d. USA 1999

Born in Munich, Erich Hartmann was 16 years old when he went with his family in 1938 to Albany, New York, as a refugee from Nazi Germany. The only English speaker in the family, he worked in a textile mill, attending evening high school and later taking night courses at Siena College. He enlisted in the US Army, serving in England, France, Belgium and Germany. At the end of the war he moved to New York City, where he worked as an assistant to a portrait photographer and then as a freelancer.

Hartmann first became known to the wider public through his work for Fortune magazine in the 1950s. His poetic approach to science, industry and architecture shone through the photo essays 'Shapes of Sound', 'The Building of Saint Lawrence Seaway' and 'The Deep North'. He later did similar essays on the poetics of science and technology for French, German and American Geo and other magazines. Invited to join Magnum in 1952, he was for many years on the board of directors, becoming president in 1985.

Throughout his career, he pursued many long-term personal projects, and photographic interpretations with literary echoes: Shakespeare's England, Joyce's Dublin, Thomas Hardy's Wessex. He also explored abstract representations of ink-drops in water, patterns of laser light, and the beauty of tiny components of technology. In his later years he photographed the remains of the Nazi concentration camps, resulting in a book and exhibition, In the Camps. At the time of his death he was engaged in a photo project he called 'Music Everywhere.'

Erich Hartmann died in New York City on 4 February 1999.


Evening Classes to complete high school, Albany, New York, USA
Evening Courses at Siena College, Loudonville, New York, USA
Photography Courses with Berenice Abbott and Alexei Brodovitch, New York City, USA


Photokina Award, Cologne, Germany
International Award from Centro di Ricerca e Archiviazione della Fotografia,
Spilimbergo, Italy
The Newhouse Medal from Syracuse University
The Art Director’s Club Prize


2005 Writing with Light - Artefact Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
2005 Dublin 1964 - Memphis in May - Robinson Gallery Memphis, Tennessee, USA
2004 Dublin 1964 - Gallery of Photography, Dublin, Ireland
2004 Security, Privilege and Freedom: A Transatlantic Crossing on Queen Elizabeth
South Street Seaport Museum, New York, USA
2000/02 Where I Was - Fotohof, Salzburg, Austria; Leica Gallery, New York,
USA; Sankt Anna Kapelle, Passau, Germany; Jewish Museum, Munich, Germany;
Leica Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1995/00 In the Camps, Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France; Goethe House, New York, USA;
Leica Gallery, New York, USA; NGBK Gallery, Berlin, Germany; Kunsthaus,
Hamburg, Germany; St. Anna Kapelle, Passau, Germany; National Monument ,
Camp Vught, Netherlands; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy ;
Villa Cian, Spilimbergo, Italy; Sala San Leonardo, Venice, Italy and other venues
in US and Europe
1991 High Technology - shown in Berlin and Bonn in Germany and at other venues in
1989 Musicians at Work - Lockenhaus Music Festival, Austria
1988 Veritas - Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York, USA
1987 Washington - Magnum Gallery, Paris, France
1985 The Heart of Technology - Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Tokyo
1984 Erich Hartmann Slept Here - Residenz Gallery, Salzburg
1983 Macroworld - Olympus Galleries in Paris, Hamburg, Tokyo, London
1982 Train Journey - French Cultural Institute, New York ;numerous other venues
in the U.S. ; Paris, Tokyo, Hamburg
1982 Europe in Space - The Photographers' Gallery, London. UK;
1978 A Play of Light - Neikrug Gallery, New York, USA
1977 Photographs with a Laser - AIGA Gallery, New York, USA ; Fiolet
Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands
1976 Carnet de Route & Natures Mortes - Photogalerie, Paris, France
1971 Mannequin Factory - Underground Gallery, New York, USA; Fiolet
Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands;
1962 Our Daily Bread - The Coliseum, New York, USA; Department of
Agriculture, Washington D.C., USA; numerous other venues in the US
1956 Sunday with the Bridge - Museum of the City of New York, USA;
Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA

2000 Where I Was, Otto Muller Verlag, Austria
1995 In The Camps, W.W. Norton Company USA; UK, (Dans le silence des camps),
La Martinière, France; (Stumme Zeugen : Photographien aus konzentrazionslagern),
Lambert Schneider, Germany; Il Silenzio dei campi, Contrasto, Italy
1972 Space: Focus Earth, The European Space Research Organization and Arcade, USA;
L'Europe des satellites, hommes et techniques, Arcade, France
1965 About OXO, Spectator Publications, USA


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