Ewald Hoinkis


Already at the age of 15 Ewald Hoinkis (German, 1897–1960) started experimenting with his self-made camera. After a commercial apprenticeship, between 1915 and 1918 Hoinkis served in World War I in the German air force, where he trained himself as photographer using a military darkroom. After the war ended, Hoinkis took private art lessons and worked as a freelance painter and graphic designer, but had to earn his living by also working as a clerical assistant and bank clerk. From 1924 on he intensively took up photography again, focusing on land- and cityscapes and portraits of his wife Jenny. He also experimented with photograms. His photos and photograms were part of the Film & Foto exhibition in 1929. In the same year he also took part in the traveling exhibition Fotografie der Gegenwart (Contemporary Photography) and opened his own studio for advertising and portrait photography in the city of Görlitz. In 1931 a branch of his studio opened in Berlin. In the years following Hoinkis specialized in fashion photography, his photographs were published in various national and international magazines, such as Vogue, Die Dame, die neue linie, and others. He made friends with George Grosz during this time, whom he photographed frequently. In the 1930s he also started experimenting with color prints. From 1932 to 1941 he taught photography at the Werbefachliche Lehranstalt (School for Advertising). The air raids on Berlin in 1943 and 1944 destroyed Hoinkis’ house and his archive. After the war Hoinkis lived and worked in Munich and Frankfurt am Main, publishing his photographs in various West German magazines.