Leica Hall of Fame Award 2018 Will Be Awarded to American Photographer Bruce Davidson: Exhibition in the Leica Gallery in Wetzlar, Germany @ No Cost, 15 June – 9 September

Leica Gallery at the Leica Headquarters
Leica Gallery at the Leica Headquarters

The folllowing video presents Bruce Davidson: A Lifetime with Leica:
Renowned photojournalist and Magnum photographer Bruce Davidson has been acclaimed for over half a century for his searing images of street gangs, circus performers and the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, all captured with a remarkable directness, truth and power that transcends the concept of style. Here is a portrait of Bruce Davidson with his forthcoming, charming, and revealing insights into who he is, what he’s done, and where he’s going.

Leica invites you to a major exhibition that will open to the public in the Leica Gallery at the Leica headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany, on 15 June and continue until 9 September 2018.

  • On 15 June, American photographer Bruce Davidson will receive the Leica Hall of Fame Award.
  • A selection of pictures from Davidson’s extensive oeuvre will be shown.

Leica Gallery Wetzlar:

Leica Camera AG
Am Leitz-Park 5
35578 Wetzlar
Phone: +49 (0) 6441 – 2080-0
Fax: +49 (0) 6441 – 2080-333
Opening hours:
Monday – Friday 10.00 am – 08.00 pm
Saturday/Sunday 10.00 am – 06.00 pm

Enjoy! / Amusez vous bien!

In 1954, Bruce Davidson bought his first Leica M3.

In 1954, Bruce Davidson bought his first Leica M3.

“M Stands for Milestone

The Leica M3 is the epitome of the M system even today

The completely new camera construction featured a combined bright-line viewfinder/rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation and automatically displayed bright-line frames for the area covered by 50, 90 and 135 mm lenses, a bayonet mount for interchangeable lenses and a non-rotating shutter speed dial with click stops. An exposure meter that could be attached to the accessory shoe and coupled to the shutter speed dial was also available as an optional accessory. Film winding also became much easier by the replacement of the winding knob with a rapid wind lever. The Leica M3 is the reference model for all M-Cameras constructed to this day.”



Bruce Davidson Receives the Leica Hall of Fame Award 2018


On 15 June 2018, Leica Camera AG will be honouring American photographer Bruce Davidson with the Leica Hall of Fame Award. In his honour, a selection of pictures from his extensive oeuvre will be shown in the context of a major exhibition that will open to the public in the Leica Gallery in Wetzlar on 15 June and continue until 9 September 2018.

Leica: © Bruce Davidson: "USA. New York City. 1959. Brooklyn Gang. Coney Island. Cathey fixing her hair in a cigarette machine mirror."

Leica: © Bruce Davidson: “USA. New York City. 1959. Brooklyn Gang. Coney Island. Cathey fixing her hair in a cigarette machine mirror.”

Many series of photographs shot by Bruce Davidson have long since become inscribed in the canon of the most important reportages and documentary records of everyday life in the USA. These include ‘Brooklyn Gang’, ‘East 100th Street’ and ‘Subway’ – and the story of Jimmy Armstrong, the dwarf-clown of the Beatty circus: These photos evoke emotions, then as now. Bruce Davidson is by no means one of those typical photojournalists who set out to capture sensations that are here today and gone tomorrow – his sensitive portrait series most often provide startling insights into worlds otherwise closed to the viewer’s eyes.

This year, Bruce Davidson can look back on more than seven decades of life as a photographer. He began taking photographs at the early age of ten. In 1954, he bought his first Leica M3. In 1958, he became the youngest ever associate at Magnum and, only one year later, was already a full member of the agency. His interest in life and an open eye for his surroundings formed the basis for his exceptional photography, while, for him, trust and respect remain the essential and necessary constants that distinguish him as a leading representative of a genre of photography that bears the stamp of humanism.

‘Viewers past and present are inescapably drawn to the mixture of intimacy and detachment, curiosity and nonchalance, documentation and compassion, and his uniquely personal view of the world. Even so, the secrets of his pictures are still not revealed in all their facets. It is possible that precisely this is the decisive reason why we revisit his evocative images, time and time again. With the Leica Hall of Fame Award, we are now honouring Bruce Davidson for his lifework and his untiring and equally outstanding engagement as a photographer’, explains Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director & Chief Representative Leica Galleries International.

Davidson’s importance as a chronicler is shown particularly in his pictures of the American Civil Rights Movement that characterise his work from the 1960s. For someone who grew up in the peaceful Mid-West, and lived in the much more liberal city of New York, the violent clashes came as a shock. His work became increasingly political with the personal experience he gathered on his frequent travels and on reportage assignments. The historical value of his pictures is incalculable, but it was some time before their importance became clear. It was 2002 before a comprehensive collection titled ‘Time of Change: Civil Rights Photography 1961-1965’ was published in book form and documented his engagement.

Bruce Davidson, born 5 September 1933 in Illinois, lives in New York City and began taking photographs at the age of ten. In his last year at high school, he won first prize in the animal life category of the Kodak National High School Photographic Award. He studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology from 1951 to 1954 and, after graduation, began work as a darkroom technician at Eastman Kodak. He went on to study at the Yale University School of Design, and graduated from there in 1955. He has been a full member of Magnum since 1959. His first solo exhibition opened at the MOMA New York in 1963. His began his project ‘East 100th Street’ in 1966. He has already been honoured with numerous awards and prizes. 

The Leica Hall of Fame Award

The Leica Hall of Fame Award, first awarded in 2011, shares the tradition of earlier awards instituted by Leica Camera AG and honours exceptional photographers for their particular contributions to the photographic genre and invaluable services to the Leica brand. The award winners to date are Steve McCurry, Barbara Klemm, Nick Út, René Burri, Thomas Hoepker, Ara Güler, Joel Meyerowitz and Gianni Berengo Gardin. Further information can be found at www.leica-camera.com.

About Leica Camera

Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in Australia, China, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, UK and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.