Leonard Freed

Made in Germany

11. 5. – 1. 9. 2013

“In twenty-five years from now France will still be France, England will remain England and what can we expect to change in Italy … but Germany, what will be of Germany in twenty-five years?”

This is the closing remark in the preface to his extensive documentary on the Federal Republic of Germany by the American photographer Leonard Freed (1929-2006), published in 1970 in New York under the title Made in Germany.

Made in Germany belongs in the tradition of Western photographers who set out to explore the cultural nation of Germany that had become alien to them in the wake of the catastrophe at the hand of the Nazis. As of the mid-1950s Freed repeatedly spent time in West Germany, recording the Germans in their social milieu, at work, in their leisure time, at funfairs and other social events. The photographer sketches a compelling picture of a socially and politically divided nation, the economic wonderland in conflict between young rebels and an obstinate older generation.

The exhibition is sponsored by Kunststiftung NRW (Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia).


The photographic collection at Museum Folkwang has been able to acquire another 50 photographs from the series Made in Germany from the US American photographer’s estate with the support of the Presse-Haus NRZ Foundation in Essen. Museum Folkwang has also received 67 photographs as a donation.