The special exhibition at the Museum of Garden Art traces the photographic events of the last 150 years and shows the many different areas in which photography has been used: from monument preservation to tourism, everyday family snapshots, political and public events to journalism, advertising and art. It shows how Benrath Palace was presented as an outstanding symbol of Düsseldorf's history on the basis of photographs.


RUNNING TIME: 17 May - 27 October 2024
as part of düsseldorf photo+ 2024

The oldest photographs are the result of the newly awakened interest in Baroque architecture and were part of the first inventories of monuments or served as illustrations for the first treatises on the architectural history of the Baroque period. The published photographs showcased Benrath Palace as an architectural jewel and had an impact on tourism.

Public interest increased with the sale of the palace complex to the municipality of Benrath in 1911. Immediately afterwards, the Königlich Preußische Messbild-Anstalt documented the palace and park in 63 photographs. From 1921 onwards, the palace festival was held repeatedly, with open-air theatre plays performed in front of the palace backdrop. On this occasion, local photographers staged the historically costumed performers in a romantically inspired manner - photographs which, like the majority of the exhibited works, are being presented for the first time.

The exhibition will be shown in the entire east wing and in the Corps de Logis. Here, the photographs document the different states of the rooms and their decorations. Many of the photographs on display are by renowned photographers, including Julius Söhn, August Sander, Chargesheimer, Dolf Siebert, Ruth Hallensleben, Ruth Lauterbach-Baehnisch, Horst Schäfer, Marcus Schwier, Candida Höfer, Thomas Bachler, Kris Scholz, Hiroyuki Masuyama and others. The artists Bärbel Möllmann and Thomas Bachler will each set up a camera obscura in the east wing and on the forecourt to allow visitors to experience the optical effects of light.

Numerous private photographs from the past 100 years are also part of the exhibition. Over one hundred people and families responded to an appeal and provided almost 300 snapshots for the exhibition.

An extensive educational and outreach programme for children, young people, families and adults accompanies the exhibition. A richly illustrated accompanying book will be published.

The vernissage will take place on 15 May 2024 from 7 pm. Admission is free.
Curators: Stefan Schweizer & Julia Fischer