Leonore Schwarzer, around 1963
© Deutsches Historisches Museum I Photo: Kurt Schwarzer

Leonore Schwarzer

This exclusive online photo exhibition showcases the work of Berlin photographer Leonore Schwarzer and her ability to capture the life of East Berliners in multifaceted images.

She completed her photography training in 1982, after which she did commissioned work for companies in Berlin. By that time, as the “head of the people’s artistic creative work“ she had already become the head of photography groups at various art centres and had been working as a freelance photographer in her free time.

For the construction staff of the “Passage Friedrichstadt”, Leonore Schwarzer documented the state of the surrounding Mitte district neighbourhoods from 1985 onwards.

Laundry drying by the wall, Berlin, 1990
© Stadtmuseum Berlin | Photo: Leonore Schwarzer
Trained nursery school teacher Leonore Czapla (born in Berlin in 1936) had discovered her passion for photography when she met her future husband, photographer Kurt Schwarzer, in the 1950’s.

She would assist him at his East Berlin photo agency, where she worked as a photographer, assistant, lab assistant, manager and model.

The photo series

In front of the camera

Photographs by Kurt Schwarzer

On vacation

Photographs by Leonore Schwarzer: Part 2

Arts Centres

Photographs by Leonore Schwarzer: Part 3

People and sculptures

Photographs by Leonore Schwarzer: Part 4

Berlin’s 750th anniversary

Photographs by Leonore Schwarzer: Part 5

Photos of the Wall

Photographs by Leonore Schwarzer: Part 6

Part of the collection since 2018

Leonore Schwarzer’s photographic work was donated to the Stadtmuseum Berlin in 2018. It consists of 17,000 negatives and slides, as well as 2,600 prints made by hand from the 1960’s to the 1990’s.

The range of motifs in her work is reflected in street scenes, working environments, celebrations, cultural events, fashion shows, as well as landscapes and portraits. It provides a personal, natural, somewhat different insight into the everyday life of people in the eastern part of Germany, which also reflects Schwarzer’s multifaceted life in the GDR.

Thanks to

The cooperation with the Berlin University of Applied Sciences, Museology Department, for the Foto-Grafische Kabinett at the Märkisches Museum