Wolff & Tritschler - Licht und Schatten

Exhibition at Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar | June 28, 2019 to June 7, 2020

"I think this painting is so special..." - Paul Wolff & Tritschler and Ullstein Berlin

Ullstein's business correspondence to Dr. Paul Wolff & Tritschler from 1952 bears the headline "now again: Ullstein A.G." – behind this headline you may find the history of the Ullstein publishing house, which has been operating successfully for decades – especially in the field of photography –, the unscrupulous expropriation by National Socialist rulers, the propaganda-driven renaming as "Deutscher Verlag" and the post-war resumption of the company name Ullstein.

A significant innovation of this post-war period is the beginning of photo agency operations at Ullstein, which is also mentioned in a letter to Wolff & Tritschler from 1950, so "we take the liberty of informing you that we have expanded our well-known picture archive into a picture agency.“ Based on this new self-image, the „Picture Service" promotes cooperation under new aspects. And in a further letter to Wolff & Tritschler from 1950, they ask with interest: "What kind of color photographs are you going to offer? Are they single pictures or series, are they available in slides or color photographs?" The interest is mutual, the Paul Wolff archive responds on 10 December 1951 with a basic agreement to the business relationship. This type of cooperation already left many traces in the magazine and newspaper publications of the Ullstein publishing house, whether in the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung or the Berliner Morgenpost, in Die Dame, Uhu, Tempo, Grüne Post, Sieben Tage or Koralle. An example of this is the publication of a Paul Wolff photograph in the magazine Die Dame from 1930/No. 22, which was designed for photographic appearances, with the main title "Tennis in Schattenbildern.“ (ullstein bild 00190995)

There was no doubt about the steadily growing importance of the pictures. The editorial comment on a back page of the photo series on the Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen states: "As necessary as the ski is the camera.“ (Die Dame Nr. 26/1936, ullstein bild 00094077) And on the effect and quality of the same series, a sister publication notes: "The camera goes skiing.“ (Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung No. 51/1936, ullstein bild 01090169). The Paul Wolff & Tritschler collection at ullstein bild goes back to the first publications from the mid-1920s onwards, mainly in Die Dame. In the following years, the customers and the editorial offices benefited from a wide variety of travels, reports and unusual photographic motifs. For example, the original retouching for the title of a special issue of Die Dame of 1935 has been preserved (ullstein bild 00723076). In the end, however, designated propaganda sheets such as the Sirene used the photographic material, and in some cases the censorship speaks of the drastic specifications.

One proof of Wolff‘s popularity can be seen in the Ullstein back-page commentary of a photograph (published in 1934): "I think this picture is so particularly good ...".

A selection of photographs from the extensive Ullstein collection Wolff & Tritschler can be found in the opening exhibition of the Ernst Leitz Museum in Wetzlar Dr. Paul Wolff & Tritschler. Licht und Schatten - Fotografien 1920 bis 1950 (June 28, 2019 to June 7, 2020) and in the book publication The Photo Publications of Dr. Paul Woff & Alfred Tritschler 1906-2019 by Steidl Verlag (not yet published).

In our gallery you will find the above mentioned photographs and some impressions from the exhibition-

You will find the complete offer at www.ullsteinbild.de.


Dr. Katrin
Senior Manager Asset & Exhibition
+49 30 2591 73164