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1913 - 2007

Wolfgang Sievers was born in Germany and was greatly influenced by his writer-mother and his father, an arts professor and government official involved with the arts.

Sievers first studied archaeology and learnt photography originally to illustrate his father’s books. He was unable to continue his studies due to Nazi political oppression, and tried to earn a living as a freelance photographer in Portugal. Sievers later returned to Germany to study at the Contempora College of Applied Arts in Berlin. He subsequently taught photography at this college.

In 1938 Sievers left Germany to escape war service and came to Australia via England. After his arrival Sievers enlisted for war service. As early as 1939 some of Sievers’ industrial photographs were being published in Australia. He set up a new studio specialising in this field in Melbourne in 1945 and held a joint exhibition of photography for fashion, business and industry in 1953 with Helmut Newton.

In 1959 he illustrated The Fabulous Hill. From the 1960s Sievers specialised in industrial work and continues to work as a top professional in the field from his home studio in Sandringham, Victoria.

Sievers’ work before and after his arrival in Australia shows the influence of the New Objectivity which was developed in German photography from 1927-33. The forms of the machine age are clearly articulated but with workers shown as dignified craftsmen.

above text based on Gaël Newton's Silver & Grey
Angus and Roberston, Australia 1980


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