© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Siegfried Lauterwasser, German (Überlingen, Germany 1913 - 2000 Überlingen, Germany)
Mirroring in Water
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Wasserspiegelung
Work Type
Physical Descriptions
Gelatin silver print
Gelatin silver print
23.6 x 15.8 cm (9 5/16 x 6 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: on verso in graphite at l.r.: Siegfried Lauterwasser
  • stamp: on verso at u.c., blue ink: COPYRIGHT BY: // S. LAUTERWASSER // UEBERLINGEN/BOS.
  • inscription: on verso at c., graphite, handwritten: Wasserspiegelung
  • inscription: on verso at l.r., graphite, handwritten: 1950
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of The Cultural Council in the Federation of German Industry
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Label Text: Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55 , written 2018
These photographs, from Lauterwasser’s Mirroring in Water series, skim the rippling surface of Lake Constance, near the artist’s birthplace. Rather than sentimentalize the landscape as Nazi ideology had done previously, Lauterwasser abstracts the scenery; shifting, amoebic blobs refuse the steady ground of German “blood and soil” (Blut und Boden) that had buttressed Nazi nationalism. Having served as a propaganda photographer during the war, Lauterwasser was well familiar with the use of the medium to support fascist ideology. Renouncing this visual rhetoric, he joined the postwar collective fotoform, which sought to continue the avant-garde experiments of interwar photographers such as Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy. Yet fotoform’s members also wished to move beyond their predecessors by pursuing a new “subjective photography” that harnessed techniques specific to the medium, such as negative printing and the close-up, used here, under the direction of human creativity.

Publication History

Lynette Roth and Ilka Voermann, Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2018), pp. 284-286, cat. no. 36.1, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/09/2018 - 06/03/2018

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu