World-famous icons of photography constitute the core of the Skrein Photo Collection, which has also played a pioneering role in preserving and presenting snapshot photography. Two touchstones help set it apart from other collections: the collector’s enthusiasm for superb composition and his fascination with the human condition. The pursuit of these two criteria implies a challenge: Christian Skrein’s interests cover a wide spectrum, from the nineteenth century to a focus on the 1920s and 1930s and on to the more recent past. Themes such as reportage photography—a preoccupation with roots in Skrein’s own photographic practice—are hallmarks of the collector’s scope, as is his penchant for curiosities. The exhibition and publication sift through this storehouse of treasures by telling stories: only then do the heterogeneous pictures—whose aspiration to superior quality is evident throughout—speak to the collector’s approach. Key concepts with manifold associations serve to structure the abundance. Among them are photographic metaphors that can act as lenses on central questions in the history of photography.
A publication accompanying the exhibition has been released in German and English versions.