Painting, graphic art or photograph? Smudged details and blurred outlines printed on coarse paper in an unusually large scale make it difficult to categorise this work – and intentionally so. Around 1900, the pioneer of photography Heinrich Kühn experimented with so-called noble printing techniques such as gum printing. He sought to enhance the appreciation of the new medium. The young woman’s pose, her gaze into the mirror and her soft contours are inspired by painting. Kühn inextricably combined different media to great atmospheric effect.
The Städelscher Museums-Verein acquired the photographic collection of Uta and Wilfried Wiegand with the financial support of the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the Hessische Kulturstiftung. The museum also received part of the collection as a gift from the owners. Consisting of some 200 photographs from the nineteenth century and Classic Modernism, the Wiegand Collection is one of the most important photo collections worldwide. Assembled since the 1970s, the collection provides an outstanding record of the development of photography as a medium.