60 years of the Leica rangefinder system: Leica Galerie Wetzlar is showing two new photographic exhibitions to celebrate this special anniversary
This year, Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, is celebrating two special anniversaries. The focus of the celebrations will not be exclusively on 100 years of Leica photography, but also on the 60th birthday of the legendary Leica M rangefinder system.
On the occasion of this special anniversary, the Leica Galerie Wetzlar will be showing two new exhibitions which will open on 17 October 2014: Magic Moments – 60 Jahre Leica M (‘60 years of the Leica M’) is a selection of top-class photos from the last six decades captured by various Leica photographers. The second exhibition is a project entitled 100 Fotografen – 100 Porträts (‘100 photographers – 100 portraits’), in which the American photographer Claire Yaffa reveals the personalities behind the camera in a series of tenderly composed black-and-white portraits. Both exhibitions will be open until 4 January 2015.
In addition to the exhibitions, Leica Camera AG will also be showing unusual and fascinating pieces from various chapters in the 60-year history of the Leica M in the world of Leica experience. Alongside rare prototypes and experimental models, visitors will also be able to see the first version of the Leica M3 from 1954 and the Leica M Edition 60 anniversary edition that was presented at this year’s photokina. Also on view are cameras that were presented to famous public figures, such as Emil Schulthess, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II. The Leica Galerie and the world of Leica experience (at Leitz-Park 5 in 35578 Wetzlar) are open from Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.
Absolute mechanical and optical precision and concentration on the essential photographic parameters with functions that place the skills of the photographer in the foreground – these are the core values of the Leica rangefinder system. At the same time, the Leica M-Camera stands for a special approach to photography characterised by discreet, artistically aesthetic composition and creative images captured at the heart of life itself. Images that touch the heart and soul, tell stories and present profound insights into the world around us and everyday life. Numerous iconic images that are today engraved in our collective consciousness were captured with Leica M-Cameras. Historic moments that changed the way we see the world, side by side with the unspectacular, random encounters of everyday life, portraits of prominent contemporaries and nameless strangers.
The Magic Moments exhibition covers all these aspects in all their facets. With equal prominence, the exhibition shows anonymous travellers, children playing and brief encounters together with Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles. Simultaneously, it also reveals the unique visual language of each of the photographers represented. For instance, viewers can discover not only precisely composed images, but also subtly mysterious and enigmatic perspectives. The choice of images for this 60th anniversary presents unforgettable moments in legendary black-and-white and colour photographs and is a kaleidoscope of prestigious images packed with diversity and surprise – just like life itself.
Portraiture is the supreme discipline in the world of photography. The special dialogue between photographer and subject can be one of the most intimate moments in interpersonal communication. It demands not only masterly skills to achieve the perfect portrait, but also profound empathy and a delicate touch – behind and in front of the camera. It is conspicuous that only very few photographers like to be captured in portraits. They much prefer to see the scene through a viewfinder than to stand as a subject for the camera’s lens. This makes the gallery of images of her colleagues which Claire Yaffa has compiled over the years all the more exciting – even Henri Cartier-Bresson made an exception for the photographer and let himself be captured on film for her project. 100 Fotografen – 100 Porträts is a who’s who of masters of photography and stands for the passionate interest of Claire Yaffa and her particularly sensitive intuition for capturing the ideal moment.
Claire Yaffa began to concern herself with photography in the mid 1960s. Her work is centred on portraiture. Amongst other things, she has published photographic essays and projects on underprivileged children, the homeless and survivors of the Holocaust, and her work has been shown in prominent galleries around the world.
About Leica Camera
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in Australia, China, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, UK and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.