Young father with his children at the Bieber studio in Hamburg

When I start researching a foreign photographer, I never expect to find much.  I can usually find a few references online, and sometimes studio addresses or dates of operation, but that’s generally it.  On the other hand, some studios are well documented in their own countries, and the E. Bieber studio in Hamburg is one of those.  It was founded in 1852 by Emilie Bieber (1810-1884), one of the first female professional photographers in all of Germany.  In 1872 she turned the studio over to her nephew, Leonard Berlin-Bieber (1841-1931).  He may have taken the photo of the young father with children above.  About 1903 Leonard turned the studio over to his son, Emil Bieber (1878-1962).  The Biebers were Jewish, and in 1938 Emil was forced to flee with his family from Germany to London, eventually settling in South Africa.

The name of the studio in Hamburg remained E. Bieber throughout its 86 years of existence.

Father and daughters at Bieber studio 3


Prominent patrons of the Bieber family included Gustav Mahler, Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, and many members of the German royal family, including Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Father and daughters at Bieber studio 2



6 thoughts on “Young father with his children at the Bieber studio in Hamburg

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  1. It is always a bonus to find ‘your’ photographers on-line. I have examples from all over the (19th century) world. Very few are to be found on the internet, except the famous and fashionable photographers of the day. It is fascinating to explore both their lives and world. I use newspapers, census returns etc etc to put the flesh on the bones, as it were. I also delight in finding a name/date for my photographs so that I can research the sitter. photos from countries other than one’s own seem more interesting and I am hooked on those from the USA. Good hunting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting that you’re drawn to photos from the States. They must strike you as novel in the same sort of way that British images often strike me. I do like American photographs, but often find that the more interesting ones are too expensive, because other collectors are vying for them. Now and then I luck into something and it feels like a coup!


  2. Beautiful portrait and you’ve done a wonderful job drawing attention to this little-known early female photographer. Happy to have been directed to your website by a friend (I collect these as well). I have a Bieber carte-de-visite from around 1860, probably a portrait of a German relative sent to my great-grandfather in NYC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Your Bieber carte-de-visite may have been taken by Emilie herself. I don’t see those early ones by her very often. I do own one (not on the blog), but the sitter is English.

      Always nice to hear from another early photo enthusiast!

      Liked by 1 person

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