Albert Renger-Patzsch

Dates1897 - 1966
BornWurzburg, Germany
DiedWamel bei Soest, Germany

In 1924 Albert Renger-Patzsch got his start as a professional photographer by making the images for the first two books in a series titled Die Welt der Pflanze(The World of Plants). His work went uncredited, but two years later his name appeared on another book, Das Chorgestühl von Kappenberg(The Choir Stalls of Cappenberg). He soon became an independent photographer and exhibited his photographs for the first time. In 1928, Renger-Patzsch published his most famous book, Die Welt ist schön(The world is beautiful). That same year he moved to the city of Essen from Bad Harzburg and set up a darkroom and studio in the Folkwang Archives, the photographic archive of a publishing house, where he received commissions from architects, industry, and publishers.

Renger-Patzsch was appointed instructor and head of the department of pictorial photography of the Folkwangschule in Essen, but the Nazi takeover of the arts prompted him to leave after only two semesters. A World War II bombing in 1944 destroyed his residence and most of his archive at the Folkwang; thereafter, he concentrated on his own photography.