J10. West Berlin 1950’s Architecture

This lovely vernacular album opens with shots of West Berlin’s Hilton – a hotel of which Conrad Hilton stated in 1955: “We have hit upon a new weapon with which to fight Communism, a new team made up of owner, manager and labor with which to confront the class-conscious Mr. Marx.” The next several leaves continue with great shots of other modernist architecture in West Berlin. Much of Berlin was destroyed during the war, and at the time these photographs were taken, new modernist buildings were recently completed. The album covers 1951 through 1962. Many of the photographs are in Berlin, but also some Berlin suburbs and the North Sea. A very talented photographer (who managed to photograph most of the buildings without any people in the picture frame) and a very neat and orderly labeled album.

The last few leaves contain photographs of the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), a scientific and technical agency of the German government. The formal attire, even while on company trips, exudes a Mad Men vibe. Presumably the album’s creator worked for the BAM agency.

West Berlin: n.p., 1951-1962. 220 by 320mm (8¾ by 12½ inches). Faux leather photo album; [22] lvs with photographs on both sides; neatly labeled. The album is packed with photos: 179 in total. 3 photos missing. Most are 3 by 4 inches. Very Good to Near Fine; in excellent condition.


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