Photographs by Yvonne von Schweinitz from the years 1953 and 1960
March 22 to June 16, 2019
From 21st March 2019, the Archaeological Museum Hamburg is showing the exhibition “SYRIEN. Fragments of a Journey, Fragments of a Time” with photographs by Yvonne von Schweinitz (1921-2015). The photographer traveled to Syria in 1953 and 1960 in today’s largely destroyed cities Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, with trips to the desert oasis Palmyra and the Alawite Mountains. The exhibition invites the visitors to follow the paths of travel photographer Yvonne von Schweinitz. Over 80 black-and-white photographs are on display, plus numerous colour slides she has taken with her Rolleiflex and various 35 mm cameras. Complementary material gives an impression of the current situation of Syria, shaken by the civil war.
Syria – the unknown country
With the exhibition, the museum focuses on a country whose significant culture and many millennias of history are unknown to most. The current picture of Syria is characterized by the media coverage of the civil war with countless dead, destroyed cities and cultural monuments, and millions of people who are on the run. The exhibition, on the other hand, highlights the cultural richness and historical significance of Syria and shows that Syria’s history survives despite all adversities and that the country and its people should not be forgotten. The pictures are arranged in seven stations, which are based on von Schweinitz’ itinerary so that the visit to the exhibition itself becomes a little journey. The framed photographs on baryta paper show important historical and religious architectural monuments and sights as well as street and everyday scenes, cultural sites and portraits of various ethnic groups.
The exhibition was created in collaboration with the Hamburg curators Claus Friede and Mathias von Marcard.
Information about the photographer Yvonne von Schweinitz
Yvonne von Schweinitz, b. Countess von Kanitz, was born in 1921 in Gdansk. She studied Romance philology and art history and subsequently worked as a translator. Her first big photo journey took her to Morocco in 1952. In 1953 she spent seven months traveling with colleagues, including the journalist Hans von Meiss-Teuffen, by car to the Near East. She brought her legendary photos to the studio of the well-known photojournalist Willy Pragher (1908-1992) in Freiburg i.Br. In 1957 she married Viktor von Schweinitz. She continued to practice photography. On extensive travels with her husband to North Africa, the Near and Middle East and South America, numerous photo reports were produced. A selection of her Syria photographs from the years 1953 and 1960 can now be seen for the first time in a separate exhibition.
The exhibition is a project of Claus Friede Contemporary Arts and Marcard Pro Arte & V V GmbH. With the support of the Fondation Erica Sauter, Genève.
Guided tours to the special exhibition
Sunday tour SYRIA – Fragments of a journey through time in photographs
Syria’s story comes to life through the photographs of Yvonne von Schweinitz from the years 1953 and 1960. The historical images show the country, the cultural wealth and the people. The journey leads from Damascus to the significant sites of Hama, Aleppo and Palmyra, the Alawi Mountains and the crusader castle “Krag des Chevaliers”. The tour conveys the historical significance of Syria, which goes back thousands of years and was ground-breaking for the history of Central Europe.
Events: 7.4.2019, 13.00 – 14.00 and 15.00 – 16.00 14.4.2019, 13.00 – 14.00 and 15.00 – 16.00 5.5.2019, 13.00 – 14.00 and 15.00 – 16.00 26.5.2019, 13.00 – 14.00 and 15.00 – 16.00 2.6.2019, 13.00 – 14.00 and 15.00 – 16.00 Location: Museumsplatz 2 Fee: regular admission + 3 Euros No registration necessary Note: This event will be in German only
The curators of the exhibition, Claus Friede and Mathias von Marcard, guide you through the exhibition and give a comprehensive insight into its history. After the guided tour, you can look at the exhibition again with other eyes and deepen the newly-won impressions.
Events: 31.03.2019, 14.00-15.00: Mathias von Marcard 28.04.2019, 14.00-15.00: Claus Friede 12.05.2019, 14.00-15.00: Mathias von Marcard 16.06.2019, 15.00-16.00: Claus Friede (at the end of the exhibition) Location: Museumsplatz 2 Fee: regular admission + 3 Euros No registration necessary Note: This event will be in German only
The summer holidays are just around the corner and exciting adventures await all children who do not go on holiday with their parents: The Archaeological Museum Hamburg will be offering tickets for a journey back in time into the history of our ancestors.
Summer of Architecture Hamburg: Bischofsturm and Domplatz
The Domplatz, the cathedral square in the heart of Hamburg, is a place with a very special history. Since time immemorial, the location of the legendary “Hammaburg”, nucleus and name giver of the city of Hamburg, has been suspected here.
Digital Domplatz: experience archaeology and city history in multimedia
The tour starts at one of Hamburg’s most important monuments, the Bischofsturm (“bishop’s tower”). The ring-shaped tower foundation from the 12th century is the oldest surviving stone building in Hamburg’s old town. Over the last two years, the SmartSquare project has created cultural multimedia mediation services here and on the Domplatz.
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