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The collection of photographic prints established at Photo museum WestLicht moved to a newly built storage space on the premises of the Bread Factory in Vienna's 10th district in spring 2015. There the collection was united with the stock of OstLicht Gallery, hence the total holdings include about 85.000 photographs from all periods of the medium's history.

Core areas of the collection are daguerreotypes, early travel and press photography, Viennese studio portrait photography before WWII, international film photography, photo journalism (Magnum), Viennese Actionism, Outer Space photography, Cuban photography (1930s-1970s) and the Polaroid Collection; further more work groups or estates of Studio Manassé / Olga Wlassics, Photo Simonis, Stefan Kruckenhauser, Walter Henisch, Roland Pleterski, Gustav Schikola, Franz Fiedler, Padhi Frieberger, Friederike Petzold und Cora Pongracz.

The gallery sales portfolio focuses on works by Bryan Adams, Nobuyoshi Araki, Roger Ballen, Clegg & Guttmann, Kerstin Cmelka, Elisabeth Czihak, Andreas Duscha, Tomas Eller, Michael Hakimi, Michael Höpfner, Ren Hang, Franz Hubmann, Birgit Jürgenssen, David LaChapelle, Sonia Leimer, Anja Manfredi, Christian Mayer, Hellen van Meene, Ulrich Seidl, Juergen Teller and Wim Wenders.


Contact Collection
Mag. Marie Röbl
Phone +43 (0)699 10 19 20 30
BROTFABRIK, Staircase #7
Puchsbaumgasse 1C, 1100 Vienna

Contact Gallery

Kontakt Galerie
Mag. Corina Lueger
Tel +43 1 996 20 66

Brotfabrik, Staircase #3
Absberggasse 27, 1100 Vienna


The 18th of August 1839, the day the daguerreotype was officially presented in Paris, is seen as the hour of birth of photography. In the following years daguerreotype should prevail over other processes. After a (at first several minutes long) exposure and complex processing technique the result is a unique, positive, but inverted image in black silver, that can only be recognised with the right lighting angle. The specular reflective pieces on polished silver-coated copper plates were mostly put under glass and usually framed with leather pouches containing silk or velvet lining. Their incredibly fine design and accuracy of detail were impressive. It became the first commercially used photographic process as the bourgeoisie started to have their portraits taken with daguerreotypes. Standardised image formats were soon established, ranging from a whole plate (162 x 216 mm) to the 1/16 plate (41 x 34 mm). In the second half of the century the daguerreotype was replaced by cheaper processes.

Unknown Photographer
Portrait of four women France
, c. 1850 Daguerreotype, 1/1 plate, in double-elliptical mat and original frame more >>

James E. McClees & Washington L. Germon (act. 1847–1856)
Portrait of a 2-year-old girl USA, Philadelphia, c. 1850 Daguerreotype, 1/16 plate, in oval metal mat with engraving „McClees & German, Phila” more >>


Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (1819–1889)
Main portal of the Palais de L’Industrie
France, Paris, 1855
Stereodaguerreotype, 8,5 x 17 cm more >>


In 1839, when Frenchman Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot from Great Britain competed for the invention of photography, the negative as a stepping stone to the image at first seemed to be a disadvantage. But in the longer run Talbot’s positive-negative processing technique proved itself more successful: It was the precondition for the reproduction of photographs and hence also for the expansive cultural impact of the photographic image.

Talbot’s negatives were made from paper. Early images were printed on salt paper that had to be extracted from the negative in bright daylight („POP”, printing out paper). The light sensitive substances permeate the paper, leaving the structure of the paper visible. Large cameras were being used, since enlargements were not made yet, so the image format was the same size as the negative.

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877)
A Scene in a Library
late 8 from: The Pencil of Nature
England, Wiltshire, Lacock Abbey, 1843
Calotype (saltprint from paper negative), mounted on paper, numbered „8”, 13 x 17,9 cm more >>

James Robertson (1813–1888)
Bombproof Magazine
No 46 from an album on the Crimean War
Russian Empire, Crimean Peninsula, 1855
Salt print, mounted on cardboard, 22,3 x 29,2 cm
Signed „Robertson” in ink in the image lower right, titled and numbered in pencil on the mount 
more >>

Andreas Groll (1812–1872)
Plate Armour of Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba   Austria, Vienna, 1858
Saltprint, 25,7 x 17,2 cm more >>

Unknown Photographer of the k.k. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei
Parts of the Viennese fortification wall, Rotenturmtor and Gonzagabastei Austria, Vienna, March 1858
Saltprint from glass negative, 37 x 50,7 cm
Oval blindstamp in the image lower right „VON DER k.k. HOF-& STAATSDRUCKEREI IN WIEN” more >>


Already in its early stages photography became a tool to document buildings of historic importance and natural monuments in foreign countries. The photographs promised authenticity and offered the opportunity to see places one had not visited yet. Everyday life and people of foreign cultures were only depicted in stages studio scenes at first.

Technical innovations after 1850, like the collodion wet plate process or the use of albumen paper prints, increased the image sharpness considerably and made close observation of photographs even more appealing. The collodion wet plate process did not make it particularly easier for travel photographers to take their pictures (under mostly very difficult conditions), but on the other hand the reproduction in copy workshops simplified the production of prints to a great extent. A bustling market for depictions of urban sights (vedutas) and landmarks developed along the main stations of the Grand Tour, especially in Italy. With the beginnings of mass tourism photographs and photo albums became popular travel souvenirs.

Robert Macpherson (1811–1872)
Temple of the Sibyl
Italy, Tivoli, c. 1858
Albumin print, mounted on cardboard, 37,2 x 31,2 cm
Blindstamp „R. Macpherson Rome” in the lower margin, pencil inscription „115”
more >>

Giorgio Sommer (1832–1914)
The Dome at Pisa
Italy, Pisa, c. 1865
Albumin print, mounted on cardboard, 18,4 x 24,4 cm
Annotated in the negative „Nr. 3875. Il Duomo.Pisa.”, two blindstamps on the mount: „Giorgio Sommer, Studio Monte di Dio 4, Magazzino S. Caterina 5, Napoli”; „Depot a Florence Via Maggio 15, J. Brecker”, hand-written title in pencil „Der Dom von Pisa” more >>

Unknown Photographer
Welcome ceremony of two geishas
From the travel albums of Austrian singer Anton Schittenhelm (1849–1923)
Japan, c. 1880
Albumin print, 20,2 x 26,2 cm more >>

Nicholas John Caire (1837–1918)
Billy the Bull, native of Gippsland
From the album: Gippsland Scenery
Australia, Victoria, c. 1880
Albumin print, 16 x 20 cm more >>


Photographic depictions of nude bodies were not socially acceptable until the end of the 19th century, before that time nudes were definitely produced, but rarely published. Specific features and discourses around photography become imminent in this genre:

The referentiality of the photographic image gives the sight value of intimate or taboo subject matters another (sometimes pornographic) augmentation. In the relationship between photography and art especially nude photography has shown some striking positions – the range varies from the mere auxiliary function of photographic nudes for artists to an imminently photographic subject matter, especially in the reproduction of material consistency (skin, fabric) and the modelling of physicality by subtle contrasts between light and shadow. And finally crucial dispositifs of our society, such as gender roles, disciplinations of the body and the politics of gaze manifest themselves within this specific genre.

Anton Josef Trčka, gen. Antios (1893–1940)
Reclining Nude
Austria, Vienna, c. 1925
Gelatin silver print, 11,7 x 16,7 cm
Inscription in pencil on the reverse „Foto Ringwerkstaetten”, numbered „XIV” more >>

Residenz-Atelier / Albin Kobé (1884–1935)
Half nude
Austria, Vienna, c. 1928
Gelatin silver print, toned, mounted on brown cardboard, 15,9 x 21,3 cm more >>

Sam Haskins (1926–2009)
Untitled [Nude, moving]
England, London, c. 1965
Gelatin silver print (exhibition print), 38 x 30,7 cm
Inscription in pencil on the reverse „Pentax Coll.-Nr. 8750-50-111” more >>

Nobuyoshi Araki (* 1940)
Japan, Tokyo, 1993
Gelatin silver print, 39,5 x 31,6 cm
Signed by the photographer on the reverse more >>


Editorial photography exists since the beginning of the 20th century, reminiscent of the profession formerly executed by an illustrator these photographers were called „illustration photographers”. Through the use of photographic images in printed mass media, photography had its most widespread effect: These images shaped the public perception of many events and public figures. The supposed objectivity that was attributed to photography also made it a convenient political tool.

In the interwar years editorial photography had its first golden age. International picture agencies started to deal with the publication and distribution of daily press photographs. 35mm cameras, such as the Leica as well as films that were more light sensitive enabled photographers to shoot anywhere they wanted, even with very low levels of light. The new technology enabled the creation of a new picture language and a new self-conception of image authors.

Robert Sennecke (1885–1940)
Wine for fishes in the Missouri
USA, 1929
Gelatin silver print, 11,3 x 15,5 cm
Photographer’s stamp „Phot. ACME-Sennecke”, date stamp „24.Okt.1929”, clip with an ediorial text in German more >>

Unknown Photographer
Taking the danger out of flying tricks
USA, Los Angeles, April 14th, 1932
Gelatin silver print, 11,3 x 15,5 cm
Black marks in ink in the image; on the reverse agency stamp „Wide World Photos”, date stamp „26.4.1932”, 2 clips with ediorial texts more >>

Unknown Photographer
Static load test of a new bridge across the Danube-canal (Stadionbrücke)
Austria, Vienna, September 24th, 1937
Gelatin silver print, 15,9 x 20,9 cm
Numbered „1158” and dated by an unidentified hand, as well as newspaper-clip with title on the reverse more >>

Walter Henisch (1913–1975)
German forces attack a train transporting Soviet weaponry
From the 54-part album: Russland Heft I, Kampfbilder
USSR, Smolensk, August 1941
Gelatin silver print, mounted on cardboard, 23,3 x 17,1 cm
Negative number „2379/22a” and number of the album „H1/13” in pencil on the reverse more >>

Ernst Hausknost (1906–1996)
The ski race at „Hahnenkamm” in the Tyrolian Alps
Austria, Tyrol, Bad Gastein/Kitzbühel, 1948
Gelatin silver print, 13 x 18 cm
Photographer’s stamp on the reverse more >>


Already from as early as the 1920s photo journalism gained considerable influence in the world of magazines (whereas the significance of texts was on the decline). Photographers were then mostly working in close relation to editors or agencies. Until TV took over as the main visual mass medium, photo reportage experienced a boom during the years after the Second World War.

Now many photo journalists saw themselves as independent picture authors: Their view of the world manifested itself in critical or provoking photo essays, for instance from conflict and war zones. Myths were questioned; in doing so, photographic works where often full of humour, irony or melancholy. Pictorial reports on public figures and celebrities did not show only a glamorous or heroic image, but tried to depict the person in his/her everyday life. The term „human interest”, that is associated with the legendary Magnum agency as well as the influential show „The family of man”, describes the new attitude. It is aligned with the hope to move the viewer with the „universal language” of photography.

Erich Lessing (* 1923)
Franz Lehár on his deathbed, Willy Kauer is modeling the death mask
Austria, Bad Ischl, October 24th, 1948
Gelatin silver print, 36,8 x 46 cm
Signed by the photographer on the reverse
more >>

Inge Morath (1923–2002)
Mrs. Eveleigh Nash at Buckingham Palace Mall
England, London, 1953
Gelatin silver print, 21,6 x 30,8 cm
Stamped „Photography by Inge Morath, 1970 Magnum Photos, 72 West 45th Street, N.Y.C. 10036” on the reverse more >>

Franz Hubmann (1914–2007)
Pablo Picasso at his villa „La Californie”
France, Cannes, 1957
Gelatin silver print, 40 x 40 cm
Signed in the image lower left, photographer’s stamp on the reverse more >>

Unknown Russian Photographer
Juri Alexejewitsch Gagarin before his departure into outer space
From an album with 26 photographs
Sovjet Union, Tjura Tam (Kazakhstan), April 12th, 1961
Gelatin silver print, mounted on green cardboard, 16 x 10,5 cm more >>


In the holdings of photographs from Cuba, the emphasis is put on the Cuban Revolution, its origins in the 1940s and 50s, from the Guerrilla warfare of the rebels and the „heroic” first years after Fidel Castro’s take-over of power, to memorable events during his long term in office.

Many portraits of protagonists, photo essays and press images of decisive moments during the war or at the Bay of Pigs, as well as images of political rallies and acts of state illustrate the moving history of the revolution – but they also show the central role of photography in the shaping and distribution of its visual propaganda.

The different approaches of photographers such as Corrales, Korda, Salas or Venancio are also traceable in series that were made before or next to their work in service of the Revolution. Other series in the collection are by photographers of the next generation (Marucha, Mayito) that founded a new era of Cuban photo journalism.

Perfecto Romero Ramírez (* 1936)
Ernesto Ché Guevara, sitting at a desk
Cuba, Havana, Fortalez San Carlos de la Cabaña, c. 3.1.1959
Gelatin silver print, 53,4 x 45,6 cm
more >>

Luis Korda (Luis Antonio Peirce Byers, 1912–1985)
Camilo Cienfuegos and Fidel Castro entering Havana
Cuba, Havana, 8.1.1959
Gelatin silver print, mounted on cardboard, 59,7 x 49,7 cm more >>

Osvaldo Salas (1914–1992)
Four farmers reading a resolution from ANAP, the Cuban National Association of Small Farmers
Cuba, 1961
Gelatin silver print, 24 x 30,3 cm
Signed in ink on the reverse more >>

Mayito (Mario Garcia Joya, * 1938)
Cuban militia unloading a truck
From a 9-part series on the invasion at the Bay of Pigs
Cuba, 1961
Gelatin silver print, ca. 33 x 22 cm
Signed, titled and dated in pencil on the reverse more >>

Raúl Corrales (1925–2006)
Female revolutionary with armlet
Cuba, Havana, c. 1970
Gelatin silver print, 40 x 30,2 cm
Signed and stamped „Expoicap” and „71” on the reverse more >>


Viennese Actionism emerged in post war Austria, a time that was characterized by a restorationist sentiment, by Catholicism and repression prevailing, such as the portrayal of Austria as the mere victim of National Socialism. The provoking actions of this avant-garde movement broke taboos and tested the limits. They challenged traditional notions of the work of art as the concept of representation and pursued the utopia of changing society or its psychosocial structures through art.

The role of photography as the medium to record/depict their actions was crucial, even though the very different approaches of the four protagonists of this movement used it in varying ways. The use of photography in the field of art had a lasting effect, as this interplay changed and shaped the realms of art and photography in the long run. The WestLicht collection is mainly housing works by Rudolf Schwarzkogler, documentations of early actions by Hermann Nitsch and editions by Otto Mühl.

Hermann Nitsch (* 1938) / Otto Mühl (* 1925) / Ludwig Hoffenreich (1902–1975)
3rd Action, Fest des psycho-physischen Naturalismus (feast of psycho-physical naturalism)
Austria, Vienna, Mühl’s studio, Perinetgasse, 28.6.1963
C-print on Kodak-RS paper, 60 x 50 cm
Signed „Hermann Nitsch” on the reverse more >>

Hermann Nitsch (* 1938) / Siegfried Klein, aka Kasaq
Fototableau with 12 photographs from the 8th Action, Penisbespülung [„penis flushing”]
Austria, Vienna, Nitsch’s appartment, Jedlersdorfer Straße, 22.1.1965
Gelatin silver print, 65 x 50 cm
Signed, dated, titled and numbered „1/1” on the reverse more >>

Otto Mühl (* 1925) / Ludwig Hoffenreich (1902–1975)
3rd Material Action, Klarsichtpackung
From the portfolio with 45 mounted photographs „Otto Muehl Materialaktionen 1964–67”, ed. by Kunstagentur Karlheinz & Renate Hein, Munich
Austria, Vienna, Mühl’s studio, Obere Augartenstraße, 26.2.1964
Cibachrome Print, ca. 30 x 30 cm
Signed, titled „Klarsichtpackung” and numbered „14/20” on the mount| more >>

Rudolf Schwarzkogler (1940–1969) / Walter Kindler (* 1940)
1st Action, Wedding
From a portfolio with text sheets, 10 photo- and 6 serigraphs, edited by Pari & Dispari, Guiseppe Morra and F. Conz
Austria, Vienna, 6.2.1965
C-Print, 62 x 51 cm
Stamped „pari editori & dispari”, signed in ink „Edith Adam” on the lower left, numbered „69/75” on the upper right, on the reverse more >>

Rudolf Schwarzkogler (1940–1969) / Michael Epp (* 1939)
6th Action
Austria, Vienna, 1966
Gelatin silver print, 29,8 x 24,3 cm
Signed by Günter Brus, Hermann Nitsch and Edith Adam, estate stamp „rudolf schwarzkogler / nachlaß” more >>


With the introduction of his instant image process in 1948 Polaroid founder Edwin Herbert Land heralded the birth of revolutionary instant photography. The technique which enabled customers to receive a fully developed photograph directly after taking the picture became hugely popular during the 1960s. From early on Land pushed cooperation with the most renowned artists and photographers, who he provided with photographic material and thus started building on the famed Polaroid Collection in both Europe and the US.

The European part of the Collection, comprising about 4,800 Polaroids by 800 photographers, was acquired in 2011 by former WestLicht Collection and is today one of the key parts of the OstLicht Collection. Artists represented in the collection range from landscape photographer Ansel Adams to Pop Art godfather Andy Warhol, with a similar variety of artistic concepts covering all genres from fashion to architecture. The diversity of cameras, film types and formats gives a striking impression of the development of the Polaroid medium.


Ansel Adams (1902–1984)
USA, California, 1969
Polaroid Type 58, 4x5, 13,1 x 10,6 cm
© The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust  more >>

Bruce Charlesworth (* 1950)
Polaroid SX-70, hand coloured, 10,8 x 8,8 cm
Photographer’s stamp, dated and former Polaroid Coll. No. “79:1467:03” on the reverse
© Bruce Charlesworth
 more >>

Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987)
Andy sneezing
Polaroid SX-70, 10,8 x 8,8 cm
Former Polaroid Coll. No. “78:788:11” on the reverse
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. / VBK, Wien 2011 / WestLicht Collection
 more >>

Sandi Fellman (* 1952)
Japan, Tokyo, 1983
Polaroid Polacolor 20x24, ca. 75 x 56 cm
Signed in the lower right of the margin; titled on the lower left and former Polaroid Coll. No. “83:682:50” on the reverse
© Sandi Fellman more >>