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Obituary for Ingrid Wieland-Autenrieth




Ingrid Wieland-Autenrieth 12.1.1926 - 25.11.2023 (GDL/DFA 1952 - 2023)

Ingrid Wieland-Autenrieth passed away on 25 November 2023 in Freiburg. With her passing, the DFA has lost one of its oldest members and one with a very long membership (since March 1952). Ingrid would have been 98 years old on 12 January 2024.

Ingrid Wieland-Autenrieth was a professionally trained photographer with an interest in art and design. Throughout her life, both as an author and as a mediator, it was important to her to awaken and spread interest in photographic art.

Born in Mannheim, she discovered photography at an early age - as a passionate photographer, her father gave her a Tenax 35mm camera. She decided to do an apprenticeship as a photographer's assistant after completing her A-levels (at Lake Constance) during the war. Her instructor in Mannheim was Artur Pfau, known at the time as an industrial and architectural photographer. After her apprenticeship, journeyman's examination and a short period of self-employment in Eberbach (Odenwald), she was able to continue her training: From Sept.1948 to July 1949, she was enrolled at the Bavarian State School of Photography in Munich - in the master class of this renowned "cadre forge" for many future photography greats. In the same year, she was employed as a factory photographer at ADOX in Frankfurt am Main. She passed her examination to become a master photographer in Mannheim in 1951. By then she had already taken part in the 1st Photokina in Cologne with several works on the ADOX stand. This was followed by important years with her own photo studio in Frankfurt/M., from where she used the surrounding landscapes as well as sights and the life of the people in the towns as her photo motifs. Her photographs appeared in publications of the time, including Europa Camera 1951 - in the company of photographic greats such as Willy Maywald, Otto Steinert, Wolf Strache, Florence Henri and Marta Hoepffner. The city of Frankfurt, its ruins and the new buildings of post-war modernism, the festivals, the zoo with its exotic animals - including the so-called. ADOX lions - provided rich press photo material. The first trips provided new motifs (Parisian buildings, 1952) and themes (Venice in the rain, 1951). The large photo collection includes numerous advertising motifs with "girls" (models), to which she later repeatedly added one of her own children - very much in keeping with the image of women in the 1950s.

On the other hand, the cheeky, free attitude of a "girl" in the style of existentialism and the Beat Generation was chosen as a symbol of women's suffrage 1918-2018 for a poster ("Aus den Wolken gefallen", cover of Frankfurter Illustrierte 10, 1954). In 1955, Ingrid Wieland-Autenrieth was awarded 2nd prize in the International Rollei Competition for her 1954 portrait of the sculptor Prof Richard Scheibe. After a period in Memmingen and the photographic discovery of the Allgäu, the family moved to Freiburg im Breisgau in 1966. Ingrid also had her own photo lab there - her last b/w hand prints were taken in 1978. She took up architectural photography again through commissions from her brother-in-law Carlfried Mutschler to capture its free form in concrete up to "Brutalism", later also documenting the column-free Multihalle in Mannheim as a spatial wonder. In 1976, she was commissioned to take portraits of all the classes and teaching staff for the anniversary of the Droste-Hülshoff-Gymnasium in Freiburg. She created her own b/w series with the replanting of the Kaiserstuhl in 1974/75 - graphically effective images of a completely remodelled landscape - and with the portraits of Freiburg families from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.

Ingrid Wieland-Autenrieth was also an honorary member of the GEDOK (founded in 1926, the year of her birth) - both interdisciplinary (she was a great music lover through her mother, the composer Helma Autenrieth) and specifically for photography. She also ran a hospitable house, organised parties and meetings, house concerts, readings and picture lectures. As GEDOK chairwoman, IWA organised an exhibition of important female photographers from the old and new federal states (cat. "The Third Eye"), including Tina Bara, Marta Hoepffner, Evelyn Krull, Gundula Schulze Eldowy, Maria Sewcz, Annegret Soltau, Marion Wenzel and Gudrun Vogel, on the occasion of the GEDOK national conference in Freiburg in 1992. Evelyn Richter (1934 - 2021), Dr Claudia Gabriele Philipp (DFA) and Dr Marlene Schnelle-Schneyder (DFA) were invited to join the jury. For the first time, IWA sponsored an exhibition in the field of photography as an exchange between West and East - a complete novelty on this occasion.

She herself has repeatedly participated in DFA exhibitions since 1952, most recently with her ice crystal motif (1990/91) with an ornamental pictorial effect. It exemplifies her increasing interest in colour abstractions, which she developed and exhibited meticulously by hand (still without digital possibilities) since the late 1970s and in the 1980s on the basis of her travel photography. This artistic realisation in a play of geometry and construction led to a complete aesthetic alienation and an effectively staged new image creation. In 2001, the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn returned to Ingrid Autenrieth's photos from the Munich period in 1949 under the title "frauenobjektiv", Fotografinnen 1940 bis 1950 - here as documents of the hardship and misery of the immediate post-war period.

Since 2011/12, her photographic work has been shown in a total of seven solo exhibitions in Freiburg - rediscovered and curated by the Freiburg art historian S. Meier-Faust. A short report with six images appeared in the DFA Bulletin in April 2013. In 2017, the Tibet colour pictures from 1986 were shown as historical testimonies. This was followed in 2022 by a rich selection of b/w vintage landscape motifs under the title "Four Seasons" and in 2023 architectural photographs from the post-war years were exhibited. Another topic rich in material would be an exhibition on the image of man - apart from the untapped treasure trove of worldwide travel photography. The photographic commemoration of Ingrid Wieland-Autenrieth and her work can therefore continue.

Susanne Meier-Faust, M. A.

Ingrid Wieland-Autenrieth (centre) at the GDL conference in Esslingen in 1953. To her left Walde Huth. ©DFA archive

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