Starting with Helmar Lerski’s outstanding photo series Metamorphose – Verwandlungen durch Licht from 1935/36, the magnificent volume Faces – The Power of the Human Visage presents portraits from the era of the Weimar Republic. The photographs taken by the photographers of the 1920s and 1930s achieved a radical renewal of portrait photography.
Portrait photos traditionally served to depict the personality of an individual. The photographers of the interwar years saw the face as material to be presented in accordance with their own ideas. Through the photograph of a face they explored aesthetic considerations as well as the politicalchanges that took place during the Weimar Republic. Modernist experiments, the elationship between individual and type, feminist roles and political ideologies collided and hence expanded the concept of portrait photography.