Gustav German “Press photo 1957-1967” 12.01-11.02.18

This exhibition covers an earlier period of Gustav German pressphotos, from 1957 to 1967. The exhibition includes photos published in the media as well as those that could not be published during that period due to the ideological values prevalent at that time. GG’s photo reportages have been recorded with a masterful choice of shots and moments and many of his photos have earned recognition both at home and abroad. Of the typical shooting equipment of the time, he mainly used three cameras: a Zenit single lens reflex camera, a Leningrad for sports shots, and a Leica. All the photos displayed at the exhibition have been copied from film and photo materials produced in the Soviet Union.

Gustav German was born on 8 February 1933 in Tallinn. He became actively engaged in photography in 1954 when three friends, Anton Mutt, Valdur Vahi and Gustav German, discovered that they have a common hobby – photography. As a result of their subsequent gatherings as well as meetings with more experienced specialists in that field, all three were working as photographers in the Estonian SSR media a couple of years later. Gustav German’s first job was at newspaper Noorte Hääl. In 1956–1965, the young beginner grew into a renowned photographer, whose work was also used in other newspapers and magazines as well as on television.

In 1965, Gustav German started working at the Nõukogude Naine magazine (Soviet Woman), later Eesti Naine (Estonian Woman), where he worked until retiring in 1992. The magazine also printed colour photographs which require greater respect and experience from a photographer. GG managed that very well, being a pioneer in his field and later an esteemed specialist in the creation of colour photographs and slides. His slides were widely used by the media and by publishing houses both in Estonia and abroad. Thirty photo albums and several large-format photo exhibitions are a remarkable achievement that marks a milestone worthy of recognition in Estonian photography.


Curator and text Jaan Rõõmus

Photo: ETV broadcast material