J U R G E N    S C H A D E B E R G

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The Three Jazzolomos, Johannesburg 1953


Nelson Mandela in his Cell on Robben Island (Revisit) 1994


Dancing at the Ritz - Joburg 1952


Artist's Statement

International photojournalist Jurgen Schadeberg this year celebrates 59 years in photography. Coming to South Africa in 1950 from war torn Berlin he was one of the few white photographers who documented black life, capturing on film the Rise of the Freedom Movement, Apartheid Repression and the vibrancy of township life and culture. He was responsible during his association with Drum Magazine for creating a vibrant photographic department and for training a number of talented and successful black photographers.

The Schadeberg Collection of Photographs brings to life key social, cultural and political events and personalities in South Africa's turbulent history.

Historic events covered include the Defiance Campaign of 1953, the 1956 Treason Trial, the Sophiatown removals of 1958, the Sophiatown jazz and social scene, the Sharpeville Funeral of 1960 and images of Robben Island and former Robben Islanders in 1994. Personalities include Nelson Mandela in the fifties, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Trevor Huddlestone, Govan Mbeki and former Robben Islanders, as well as fifties jazz legends such as Dolly Rathebe, Kippie Moeketsi, Thandi Klaasens, Miriam Makeba and Dorothy Masuka.

The Schadeberg Collection also includes unique images of England in the seventies, from housing estates in Hackney to May Balls in Cambridge, as well as a diverse range of European images. A rare series of pictures of the San People of the Kalahari "Dance of Exorcism", taken in 1959, also features in The Schadeberg Collection.

Reviews and Interviews

Click here to view a selection of recent reviews and interviews.


Jurgen Schadeberg was born in Berlin in 1931 and, while still in his teens, worked as an apprentice photographer for a German Press Agency in Hamburg. In 1950 he emigrated to South Africa and became Chief Photographer, Picture Editor and Art Director on Drum Magazine.

It was during this time that Jurgen photographed pivotal moments in the lives of South Africans in the fifties. These photographs represent the life and struggle of South Africans during Apartheid and include important figures in South Africa's history such as Nelson Mandela, Moroka, Walter Sisulu, Yusuf Dadoo, Huddleston and many others who have been documented at key moments such as during The Defiance Campaign of 1952, The Treason Trial of 1958, The Sophiatown Removals and the Sharpeville Funeral in 1960.
His images also capture key personalities and events in the jazz and literary world such as the Sophiatown jazz scene with Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Kippie Moeketsi.

In 1964 Jurgen left South Africa for London and during the sixeties and seventies freelanced as a photojournalist in Europe and America for various prestigious magazines. He also taught at the New School in New York, the Central School of Art & Design in London and the Hoch Kunst School in Hamburg. During this period he curated several major exhibitions including "The Quality of Life" which opened the New National Theatre in 1976. Before returning to South Africa in 1985 Jurgen lived in London, Spain, New York and France. The photographs from this period represent a rich mix of social documentary work as well as some modernist, abstract images.

Jurgen has had a series of major shows including a Retrospective at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town in 1996, a Retrospective in Dublin in 2000, a New York solo show 2001, a group show at La Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris, 2002, Solo shows Berlin in 2003 and Budapest 2004, a Retrospective in Nicephore Niepce in Chalon Sur Saone in 2004, a Retrospective -in Abbaye Neumunster in Luxembourg  in 2005, a Bochum Museum Retrospective in 2005 and in 2006 a touring exhibition of new work "Voices from the Land" in South Africa. Numerous shows followed 2007  and 2008 including London, Esslingen, Bayreuth, Koln, Belgium, Oslo, Tuscany, Kunsthalle Wien, Johannesburg, Leica Galleries in Tokyo, Solms, Frankfurt, Nantes and London. 2009 and 2010  is booked with solo shows in Hamburg, Hannover, Siegburg, Salzburg, Coutances, San Francisco, New Orleans, Rhode Island and Osnabruck.

In 2007 Jurgen was awarded the Officer's Verdienst Kreuz First Class by the German President.

During his 60 year career Jurgen has trained several generations of young black and white photographers in South Africa, London, Germany and New York.

Jurgen has edited and published several photographic books including "The Finest Photos from the Old Drum", "The Fifties People of South Africa", "Mandela & The Rise of the ANC", "Voices from Robben Island", "Sof'town Blues", and three new books in 2002 "The Black & White Fifties", "The San of the Kalahari" & "Soweto Today".
"Witness - 52 years of pointing lenses at Life" was published in 2004 and in 2006 "Voices from the Land" . In 2007 he published "Jazz, Swing & Blues - 56 years of SA Jazz" and "Tales from Jozi "- new colour work of Johannesburg today. In 2008 he produced a Retrospective Photographic book of six decades of documentary photography in Europe, Africa and America, which was published by Hatje Cantz.

Together with his producer wife Claudia Jurgen established The Schadeberg Movie Company to produce a series of some 15 documentaries and dramas about South African social, cultural and political history.

Jurgen Schadeberg, sometimes known as "The Father of South African Photography", is a principle figure in South African and World Photography. His major body of work, which spans 60 years and incorporates a collection of some 100,000 negatives, captures a wealth of timeless and iconic images.

Jurgen Schadeberg continues to actively work on new major photographic projects, books and exhibitions, to tour international shows, to lecture and to make his own silver archival hand prints. He now divides his time between Africa and Europe.

Detailed Biography

Individual Exhibitions - Photography

1962     Places & Faces; Adler Fielding Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1963     South African Social Scenes; Gorzenich Exhibition Hall, Cologne, Germany (with Peter Magubane)
1970     Jurgen Schadeberg-A Retrospective; Hotel Melia, Torremolinos,Costa Del Sol, Spain
1976     Jurgen Schadeberg-A Retrospective; Central School, London, U.K.
1977     Village Faces; Hayward Gallery, London, U.K.
1977     Face to Face; Air Gallery, London, U.K.
1980     A Portfolio; The Photographic Gallery; Southampton University, U.K.
1981     London Scenes; Photographers' Gallery, London, U.K.
1988     A Retrospective; Market Gallery, Johannesburg
1995     Sof'town Blues; Photographers' Gallery, London, U.K.
1996     African Women; Nantes and other venues in France
1996     Jurgen Schadeberg-A Retrospective Exhibition; South African National Gallery, Cape Town;         Oliewenhuis National Gallery, Bloemfontein; King George V National Gallery, Port Elizabeth; South Africa
1998     'Fifties South Africa; Vue D'Afrique Festival, Montreal, Canada
1998     The Berlin Wall; Goethe Institute, Johannesburg (toured to Goethe Institutes internationally)
            Selected Images; Institute for The Advancement of Journalism, Johannesburg, Freedom Forum, Johannesburg; South Africa
1998     Jurgen Schadeberg - A Retrospective; Gallery of Photography, Dublin, Ireland
1999     Jurgen Schadeberg - The 'Fifties; The Waterfront, Belfast, N.Ireland, U.K.
2000     The Naked Face; Sandton Civic Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2000     Faced; Carfax Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2001     Soweto 2001; Art On Paper Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2001     The White 'Fifties; Crake Gallery, Johannesburg, Bensusan Museum of Photography, Johannesburg; South Africa
2001     Jurgen Schadeberg-Drum Beat: South Africa 1950-1994; Axis Gallery, New York, NY
2001     Jurgen Schadeberg - Fine Images over 50 Years - Photoza - Johannesburg
2002     The Black & White Fifties" & "Soweto Today" touring SA in 2002 with The Alliance      Francaise - Opened at The Pretoria Art Museum, 8 city tour
2002     "Voices from the Past - Moving Stills over 50 years" - Goethe Institut Johannesburg
2002     The San of the Kalahari 1959 - RAU Art Gallery, Johannesburg
2002     The San of the Kalahari 1959 - PhotoZa Gallery, Johannesburg
2003     The San of the Kalahari 1959 - Tour of South Africa to 8 venues by Alliance Francaise
2003     "All that Jazz" 52 years of jazz images, Standard Bank Art Gallery, Johannesburg
2003     Goethe Institut, Berlin. A Retrospective of South African Work over 52 Years
2003     Rencontres de la Photographie Africaine, Bamako, Mali
2003     Retrospective of South African work touring Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Bejing, Shanghai, Hong Kong
2004     Dorottya Gallery, Budapest. Fifties Images…also April 2004 in Gyor (Mediawave)
2004     The San of the Kalahari - Villa Museum, Pretoria University 2004
2004     On The Beach - New colour work. Gallery@157, Johannesburg, South Africa
2004     A Restrospective of 52 Years of South African work - Espace Cosmopolis, Nantes, France
2005     Restrospective - The Imaging Hub  Gallery - Pretoria
2005     A Retrospective of South African work - Nicephore Niepce Museum, Chalon Sur Saone
2005     "Drum Days" in fifties South Africa - Riverside Studios, London
2005     Retrospective - Seippel Galerie, Koln, Germany
2005     Jazz images - Marciac, France
2005     Retrospective, Lectoure Centre de la Photographie, France
2005     Voices from the Land -  a major photo essay of  conditions on SA Farms today to tour South Africa for 2005/6/7 MuseumAfrica, Johannebsurg, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth,
            Polokwane Art Museum, National Library of South Africa, Cape Town, Durban Art Gallery, Oliwienhuis Gallery, Bloemfontein, William Humphreys National Gallery, Kimberley, Sassol Art Gallery, Stellenbosch
2005     Solo Exhibition - Bochum Museum, Germany
2006     Major Retrospective Luxembourg, Neumunster Museum
2006     Solo Show, Zeitungsmuseum, Saarbrucken, Germany
2006     The Defiance Campaign 1952, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, Johannebsurg
2006     Solo Exhibition, Potsdammer Platz, Berlin, Germany.
2006     "Voices from the Land" images, Human Rights Forum , Nantes, France
2007     "Happy Hour" solo show at Seippel Gallery, Koln, Germany
2007     Solo Show Iwalewa-Haus, Bayreuth, Germany
2007     Solo Exhibition and book launch MuseumAfrica new colour work "Tales from Jozi"
2007     Solo Show Belgravia Gallery, London
2007     Solo Show "Tales from Jozi"  Oslo University, Norway
2007     Solo Show "Jazz & Jozi"- Seippel Gallery, Johannesburg
2007     Solo Retrospective, Kulturverein Zehntscheur, Rottenburg, Germany
2007     Fifties Show & Film Screenings, Medienhaus, Hannover
2007     Solo Show - De Queeste Gallery, Watou, Belgium
2007     Jazz Show & Book Launch, Photographers Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2008     Solo Show - Leica images, Leica Gallery, Tokyo
2008     The Age of Jazz - Belgravia Gallery, London
2008     Photographies Dans Le Bocage - Vire & Brecey, Normandy, France
2008     Retrospective - Ypres Cultural Centre, Belgium
2008     The Fifties - Nomad Gallery Brussels, Belgium
2008     Retrospective, Alencon Conseil General, France
2008     Retrospective SA - Kultur Speicher Museum, Wurzburg, Germany
2008     "Tales from Jozi" new colour work 2007, Cosmopolis Centre, Nantes, France
2008     Selected Leica images - Leica Gallery, Solms,  Germany
2008     Selected Leica images - Leica Gallery Frankfurt
2008     "Mandela" - Belgravia Gallery, London
2008     Solo Show - Raum Sylt - Quelle, Sylt, Germany
2008     Solo Show -  George Meistermann Museum, Wittliech, Trier, Germany
2008     Solo Show - Seippel Gallery, Koln, Germany
2008     Art Basel Miami
2009     The San of the Kalahari 1959 - Hotel des Arts, Remelard, France
2009     Solo Show - Leica Gallery, Salzburg, Austria
2009     Blitz Gallery, Tokyo
2009     Voices from the Land show - Hannover University, Germany
2009     Retrospective, Flo Peters Gallery, Hamburg
2009     Retrospective Show, Museum Siegburg, Germany
2009     Solo Show, Palazzo Libera, Villa Lagarina, Italy
2009     Le Jazz, La Liberte, Afrique du Sud 1951 -2007, Coutances, France
2009     Timeless Moments - Leica Gallery, Salzburg
2009     The Berlin Wall 1961 - Galerie le Voleur d'Images, Paris
2009     The Berlin Wall 1961 - Lycee Louis le Grand, Paris
2009     The Berlin Wall - Goethe Institut, Johannesburg
2009     Screening of one hour documentary on Jurgen Schadeberg on Arte TV
2010     Voices from the Land - Journees Solidaires, Coutances
2010     South African Images - Nelson Mandela Mediatheque, Vitry, Paris
2010     Felix Nussbaum Museum, Osnabrueck,Germany
2010     New Colour Images of South Africa - large format - Freelens Hamburg
2010     Berlin 1961 - The Building of the Wall - Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town
2010     Voices from the Land - Goethe Institut Johannesburg & film screenings
2010     The Fifties - Mediatheque Benoite Boulard, Le Port, La Reunion
2011     Solo Show - Berkeley University, California, USA
2011     Portrait d'Un Village Francais - Salle de Fetes - Pin La Garenne, France
2011     All That Jazz - 60 years of South African Jazz - Goethe Institut Brussels
2011     Retrospective - Timeless Moments - 65 years - Willy Brandt Haus, Berlin
2011     South African Fifties - Douarnenez Film Festival, Brittany, France
2011     Le Voleur d'Images - Paris - The Defiance Campaign 1952
2011     Portrait d'Un Village Francais, Institut Francais Berlin
2011     The Black Fifties - Pasadena Library, USA
2012     Solo Show Frankfurt Leica Gallery
2012     Solo Show Oldenburg Kultur Lounge
2012     Solo Show Aachen KUK Centre Monschau

Individual Exhibitions - Painting

1969     Raymond Duncan Gallery, Paris, France
1970     La Palette Bleue, Paris, France
1970     Don Pedro Gallery, Carihuela, Spain

Selected Group Exhibitions

1987     The Finest Photos from the Old Drum; Shell Gallery, Cape Town; Durban Museum, Durban; Market Gallery, Johannesburg; South Africa
1988     Drum; Impressions Gallery, York, U.K.
1993     Fifties South Africa; Herten, Germany
1995     South Africa Images; Foto Forum, Frankfurt, Germany
1997     Condition Humaine; La Musée du Port, La Reunion, Reunion
1998     Under the Tropic: 25 years of South African Photojournalism; Cardiff University, U.K.
1999     Africa by Africa-A Photographic View; Barbican Art Gallery, London, U.K.
1999     Maverick; Crake Gallery, Johannesburg
2000     Lengthening Shadows; Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago, U.S.
2001     Soweto: A South African Legend; Munich, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hannover; Germany
2002     Environmental Images - PhotoZa, Johannesburg
2002     Fine Fifties Images of South Africa - La Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris
2003     The History of Soweto - A Permanent Exhibition at the Regina Mundi Church, Soweto
2004     ARCO, Madrid
2004     ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg. Kliptown 2003 images
2004     Kliptown 2003 - in Kliptown Centre. A photo project with the work of 4 students
2004     Kliptown - The Goethe Institut, Johannesburg
2004     San Images for Fototage Wiesbaden, Galerie Lichtbild,Wiesbaden, Germany
2004     Selected Works, Pascal Polar Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2005     Kliptown - Horniman Museum, UK
2005     Selected Works - Toomey-Tourell Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2005     A Selection of Fities South African Images - Wedge Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2006     New Work -  Mixed Media - Painting & Photography - SA University Gallery, Joburg
2006     Fifties Work - Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria
2007     Esslingen Triennale, Germany
2007     Contact Photo Festival, Toronto
2007     Seippel Gallery Johannesburg, South Africa
2007     Fine Art Show - Rocca di Castagnoli, Tuscany, Italy
2009     Virginia Museum of Fine Art Touring Show - Virginia, Sydney,
2009     Bologna Art Fair
2009     "Century of Jazz" - Museum of Modern Art, Rovereto, Italy
2009     Century of Jazz - Museum of Modern Art, Rovereto, Italy
2010     SA Images - Polka Gallery, Paris
2010     Virginia Museum of Fine Art - Darkroom
2010     Coutances, France - Voices from the Land
2011     Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama
2011     Young Gallery, Brussels
2011     Africa - Polka Gallery, Paris
2011     Chris Beetles Fine Art Gallery, London
2012     Apartheid - ICP New York

Exhibitions Directed And Produced

1970     Inside Whitechapel; Whitechapel Gallery, London, U.K.
1976     The Quality of Life; Southbank Centre, London, U.K. (3-year project for the opening of the New National Theatre)

Selected Works - Photographic books

Jurgen Schadeberg, 1981 (Photographers' Gallery, London)
Kalahari Bushman Dance, 1982 (Jurgen Schadeberg)
The Finest Photos from the Old Drum, 1987  (Bailey's Photo Archives, Johannesburg)        
The Fifties People of South Africa, 1987 (Bailey's Photo Archives, Johannesburg)
Nelson Mandela & the Rise of the ANC, 1990 (Jonathan Ball/Donker)
Drum, 1991 (Rogner & Bernhard, Hamburg)
Voices from Robben Island, 1994 (Macmillan)
Sof'town Blues, 1995 (Jurgen Schadeberg)
South African Classics, 1995 (Macmillan)
The Black & White Fifties, 2002 (Protea Bookhouse)
Soweto Today, 2002 (Protea Bookhouse)
The San of the Kalahari, 1959 (Protea Bookhouse 2002)
Witness - A Retrospective of 52 years or work in Africa, Europe & USA  (Protea Bookhouse 2004)
The Book of Life -  A look at the UNDP Aids Programme in SA (United Nations 2004)
Voices from the Land - Farm life and farm conditions in South Africa, Protea Bookhouse 2005
Jurgen Schadeberg - Photographies - IAC France 2005
Jazz, Swing & Blues - SA Jazz over six decades - New Africa Books, South Africa 2007
Tales from Jozi - Protea Book House, South Africa, 2007
Jurgen Schadeberg - A Retrospective - published by Hatje Cantz 2008
Horizon d'Esperance - Editions Verlhac Paris 2010 (Recent SA Colour Images 2001-2008)
Portrait d'Un Village Français - 2010, Editions de l'Etrave
Great Britian 1964/84 - Mittleldeutscher Verlag, Halle, Germany

Selected Works - Films

Have You Seen Drum Recently? The Black 'Fifties in South Africa, 1987 (35mm, 77min.)
War & Peace: A History of the ANC, 1989/1992 (Video, 56min.)
The Seven Ages of Music, 1992 (Video, 46min.)
Drumbeats, 1993 (16mm, 56min.)
Ballroom Fever, 1994 (Video, 26min.)
Voices from Robben Island, 1994 (16mm, 90min.)
Dolly & The Inkspots, 1994 (Video, 26min.)
Looking Back: (Video, 26 mins)
Jo'burg Cocktail, 1995 (Video, 56min.)
Halala Bomane! [Hail the Women!], 1996 (Video, 56min.)
Ernest Cole: 1940-1990 Photo Journalist, 1999 (Video, 52min.)
Drumbeats - 52 min pilot for drama series
Deadline, 2000 (6 x 52 min. drama series)


La Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Paul Sack Collection, San Francisco
Neumunster Collection, Luxembourg
Hopkinson School of Journalism, Cardiff University, UK
President Bill Clinton Library, USA
South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Pretoria Art Museum
Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa
Oliwienhuis Gallery, Bloemfontein, South Africa
MTN Art Collection, South Africa
Sanlam Art Collection, South Africa
Johannesburg Stock Exchange Collection
Sasol Art Collection, South Africa
Telkom Art Collection, South Africa
Origins Centre, Wits University, Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela Foundation, Johannesburg
Brenthurst Collection, Johannesburg
Fonds Nationale d'Art Contemporain, Paris
Daimler Chrysler Collection, Berlin
Rocca di Castagnoli, Tuscany. Italy
La Bibliotheque Nationale de France
Arts Council Collection, London
Virginia Museum of Fine Art
National Portrait Gallery, London

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