Social documentary photography

Mention Albert Einstein, and a black and white image comes to mind for most people. There is a good chance that it's the photo that Fred Stein took of the great scientist. Stein was one of the early masters of social documentary photography in the mid-20th century, a pioneer with the 35mm camera and one of the important portrait photographers of his time. He made hundreds of portraits of famous contemporaries such as Einstein, Hannah Arendt and Marc Chagall. 

Nearly two hundred photos by Stein have been reprinted from the original negatives, especially for this exhibition. His versatile work shows a special photographic talent and a lifelong social and political commitment. An immigrant and outsider himself, he had a keen eye for social inequality, poverty, refugees and ethnic minorities.

Personal documents and family photos in the exhibition help to tell the eventful life story of Fred Stein, which was marked by persecution and exile.