German, 1978-1972

How is it possible that a photographer so famous in the early modern period and so prolific between 1907 and 1939 came to be known only in a limited way to a few photo- cognoscenti? The art journals of the 1920s in Britain, Europe, and the US paid far more attention to Hoppé’s exhibitions and publications than they did those of Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Steichen, Paul Outerbridge, Edward Weston, or others to whom historians point as founders of modernist photography. The answer would seem to be a combination of simple bad timing, and a few unfortunate turns in Hoppé's personal history that caused the bulk of his work to be locked away in archives in London and in Wiesbaden, Germany, for most of the second half of the last century. For the first time, Hoppé’s entire achievement is being studied and assessed to show that Hoppé achieved in this work a new kind of photographic documentation, an intimate and intelligent view of the world at defining moments in its history. Hoppé’s views demonstrate a high degree of formal elegance and an unmistakably modernist vision, placing Hoppé at the forefront of a naturalistic style in photography.