Barbara Klemm


The daughter of painter Fritz Klemm, who was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Karlsruhe, and of a mother who was also an artist, Barbara Klemm (German, born 1939) grew up in Karlsruhe. Between 1955 and 1958 she was apprentice in a photographers’ studio in Karlsruhe. At the age of 19 she moved to Frankfurt to work for the renowned Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), first in the newspaper’s photo lab, but was soon encouraged to take photographs herself and became press photographer for the newspaper; a job she held until 2004. Throughout her photographic career, she has consistently used black-and-white photography, and mostly shot single photographs rather than series of images. Her compositions are as striking as they are simple. Today, she might be best known for her iconic photographs of politicians, artists and musicians. She is Fellow of the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts), Berlin, and was inducted into the Leica Hall of Fame in recognition of her achievements in reportage photography. Until 2019, Klemm taught at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.