This first comprehensive publication on Dr. Paul Wolff (1887–1951) and Alfred Tritschler (1905–1970) marks the rediscovery of two of the most famous German photographers of the period circa 1930.
To this day, Wolff & Tritschler are familiar names as pioneers of the Leica, as forerunners of a lively style in illustrative photography and reportage. Besides that, their work, estimated to stand at 700,000 shots, reflects several chapters of German history at a stroke: from the cultural awakening during the years of the Weimar Republic, through the Third Reich, and on to the Second World War, in the end phase of which significant portions of the Wolff archive were also destroyed. In terms of formal aesthetics, the two photographers demonstrated a range between convention and New Objectivity, between homeland style and New Vision. There was virtually no topic that Wolff & Tritschler failed to cover. Their photographic work shapes our notion of the old or »New Frankfurt« just as much as it stirs our longing for faraway places, as evoked by their shots from journeys by car or ship or flights on the Zeppelin. In sum, no small number of contradictions characterize the work of Wolff & Tritschler over three decades. However, precisely that makes their oeuvre, which oscillates between service provision and artistic aspiration, between avant-garde and adaptation, a rich seam for a broad-based historical and critical examination.
»By chance I won a Leica as a prize at the Photographic Exhibition in Frankfurt am Main, and since that time my whole inclination pertains to the grand life, the world’s unlimited expanse, all that the compact camera is called to capture.«
Dr. Paul Wolff