Artist file


Reinhard Mende 1930—2012

Mende acquired his first camera on May 12, 1951 while he still worked as a mill builder until the early 1960's. 1967–90: Freelance photographer in theGDR, and then in the FRG until 2007. 1963: Bronze medal in the 2nd Fotopresse-Schau ofthe GDR, the only amateur photographer to receive an award. Participated in numerousexhibitions in Germany and abroad. Offer from Neues Deutschland, but Mende rejected itbecause it required joining the SED. For the same reason he quit his job at Rat [...]

Mende acquired his first camera on May 12, 1951 while he still worked as a mill builder until the early 1960's. 1967–90: Freelance photographer in theGDR, and then in the FRG until 2007. 1963: Bronze medal in the 2nd Fotopresse-Schau ofthe GDR, the only amateur photographer to receive an award. Participated in numerousexhibitions in Germany and abroad. Offer from Neues Deutschland, but Mende rejected itbecause it required joining the SED. For the same reason he quit his job at Rat des Kreises (district council) Altenburg where he worked in the department of culture for the years 1962–66. Active for decades doing reportage commissioned by the advertising department of Elektrischer Konsumgüter Suhl, with headquarters in Leipzig, and the trademark association AKA ELECTRIC, he was commissioned by the Ministry of culture of the GDR to do photojournalism on, among other things, the Jugendweltfestspiele der DDR (1973; the GDR’s World Festival ofYouth). In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mendewas the set photographer on various GDR television productions. Until 1989, he also documented the opening and exhibitions of the Lindenau-Museum in Altenburg. The year 1989was a turning point also in his activities as a photographer: Mende quickly acquired new camera and laboratory equipment (with support from his brothers in the FRG). At the age of sixty, he learned color photography on his own in order to remain professionally active under the new conditions. Numerous commissions followed for book and CD productions on the history, culture, and landscape of the Altenburger Land.

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