History of Our World

Candida Höfer | Libraries, 2005

Posted in Architecture, Photography by A on November 18, 2009

Albertinum Dresden | 1999.

BNF Paris | 1998.

Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar | 2004.

Biblioteca Nacional Madrid | 2003.

MOCA Los Angeles | 2000.

Sächsische Landesbibliothek Dresden | 2002.

Národní knihovna Praha | 2004.

Candida Höfer photographs rooms in public places that are centers of cultural life, such as libraries, museums, theaters, cafés, universities, as well as historic houses and palaces. Each meticulously composed space is marked with the richness of human activity, yet largely devoid of human presence. Whether it be a photograph of a national library or a hotel lobby, Höfer’s images ask us to conduct a distanced, disengaged examination through the window she has created.

Not purely architectural photographs, her rhythmically patterned images present a universe of interiors constructed by human intention, unearthing patterns of order, logic, and disruption imposed on these spaces by absent creators and inhabitants. Her photos of ornate, baroque interiors achieve images with extreme clarity and legibility while the camera maintains an observant distance, never getting too close to its subject.

Born in Eberswalde, just north of Berlin, in 1944,  Höfer was a student at the Dusseldorf Academy of Art from 1973 to 1982, embracing film before going on to study photography under the tutelage of Bernd Becher. Since 1975 she has taken part in numerous group exhibitions and released a number of volumes with Thames & Hudson, including Candida Höfer: A Monograph, published in 2003.


Candida Höfer | Libraries

Introduction by Umberto Eco

Thames & Hudson




Thames & Hudson



7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Victor said, on November 29, 2009 at 19:05


    Does anyone know what kind of gear Candida Höfer uses? It seems to me there is a lot of shift/tilting involved.

    Any ideas?

    • A said, on November 29, 2009 at 23:22

      I can find very little on Hofer’s methods, except that she predominantly shoots medium format, usually from a very high tripod; much like her tutors Bernd and Hilla Becher.


  2. Victor said, on November 30, 2009 at 04:34

    Thanks. That explains a lot. In the meantime, I had read elsewhere that she switched in the late 90’s, from a regular Nikon to Hasselblad and to Linhof.

    • R said, on November 30, 2009 at 04:40

      A Linhof of some description would have been my guess.

  3. […] Candida Höfer im “Goethe-Nationalmuseum Weimar IV”, die Dame begegnet einem im Studium ja auch öfter. […]

  4. sergant51 said, on February 15, 2012 at 19:10

    Хаай! Заходите на наш онлайн каталог досуга и развлечений] http://1svodnik.ru

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: