The Legacy of Oskar Barnack

Apr 13, 2018  By Gary Hough

Did you see the Leica camera that just sold for almost $3,000,000?  There is a legacy to the Leica brand that transcends all rational thought. It is partly this historical component that drives us at LHSA to want to be a part of that history, to re-live those moments where great photographers stood to tell their stories. We are experiencing something that is greater than all of us, something that drives our emotions, something within us that seeks answers and gives us pleasure and satisfaction, something that brings us together for camaraderie and learning. This is LHSA, and this will always be The Go-To Place for All Things Leica.

A few years ago, some of our members embarked on a translation of the 2009 Ulf Richter German Book entitled Oskar Barnack-From the Idea to the Leica, a rather ambitious undertaking by a very dedicated group of LHSA enthusiasts.  It was completed in time for our Chicago meeting last fall. This announcement is about making you aware as to how this book will answer your questions and will put into perspective the timelines and issues facing this young man from Lynow, Germany. Barnack’s genius lead to an explosive and revolutionary art form, which also profoundly affected reportage and forever changed the world of photography.

This book has answered many of my questions, such as what motivated Oskar to build a smaller camera and why he left Jena in 1911. I’m sure that you too have many questions about this young man and how this legacy began. You can find out by ordering the book.  You will be glad that you did, and just as importantly, you will be supporting our great Society.


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