40 Years of Leica Oskar Barnack Award

Exhibition from 23 October 2020 – 28 March 2021

On the occasion of the 40 year jubilee of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), Leica is presenting a comprehensive retrospective of all LOBA winners at the Ernst Leitz Museum. The exhibition opens on October 23. At the same time, the works of the 2020 LOBA winners will be on display at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar.

The exhibition represents a wonderful opportunity to look back over forty years of Leica Oskar Barnack Awards: touching and evocative stories, exciting rediscoveries and new encounters, with a great variety of perspectives! This exhibition offers a clear testimony to the visual richness of the LOBA winner and newcomer series over four decades, and presents photojournalism in all its diversity and constant changes.

The photographers capture vital processes and incite societal discussions; for example, around how to deal with medical problems, poverty or social injustice. Reportages about specific people, living communities and forms of society, that have appeared in series and have captured the diverse range of lifestyles, seem to be even more significant.

The overall retrospective of the LOBA series offers a glimpse into unknown worlds – as seen through the eyes of world renown photographers such as Sebastião Salgado, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Wendy Watriss, Jane Evelyn Atwood, David Turnley or Max Pinckers.

The idea for the competition came about on the occasion of the centenary of the birth year of Oskar Barnack (1879–1936), the ingenious inventor and developer of the new type of camera, with which Leica would go on to write photographic history, and which was to revolutionize amateur photography and, in particular, photojournalism.

The comprehensive presentation that spreads over both floors of the Ernst Leitz Museum, presents over 350 exhibits. The accompanying, richly illustrated catalogue documents all 52 LOBA series – 40 main winners and twelve newcomers.


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