1954 to 1959 – “Light over Hamborn”: Historical photographs by Herbert List
He became famous with portrait pictures such as those of Pablo Picasso: the German photojournalist and Magnum photographer Herbert List (1903-1975). As an associate member of the international photo agency Magnum, which was founded in the postwar period, he worked around the world, working for magazines such as “Vogue”, publishing illustrated books and a large number of photographs. Between 1954 and 1959, List came to Duisburg-Hamborn four times in order to create various photo galleries on behalf of the August Thyssen-Hütte. He photographed the Duisburg steel works during their reconstruction – its plants and employees.
Impressive pictures of the then reconstruction
His impressive pictures, with the play of the lighting conditions so characteristic of his photographs, show the working environment of a modern steelworks during reconstruction in the 1950s. The images of the native of Hamburg were used for representative purposes: in business reports, factory newspapers and at trade fairs. However, in his complete works, these industrial photographs are almost unknown.
Abiding memories of everyday working life
A contemporary witness who began his training in Duisburg-Hamborn remembers: “The way it looks in the pictures is the way it really was. We filed, drilled, hammered and banged away,” is how he describes the everyday working day at the time. “It was dusty, our work clothes and equipment looked completely different. Where the main administration building is today was a bicycle shop in those days.”
Fascinating memories in unusual pictures
“List was not a conventional industrial photographer. He first came on behalf of a colleague to the steelworks in order to take photographs for a report on the factory. But the environment fascinated him. He came back and created an entire photo series for the then August Thyssen-Hütte,” reports the Head of the Group Archive Prof. Manfred Rasch.
A richly illustrated book »Light over Hamborn« (Link to German website) has been published by the Klartext publishing company, in which he presents for the first time over 80 interrelated photographs of the steelworks by Herbert List.
Photo gallery of the “Light over Hamborn” exhibition in the headquarters of thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, Duisburg-Hamborn: http://www.thyssenkrupp.com/en/bildstrecke/160/