Portrait photographs from the Tucher’sche Kulturstiftung collections

The Tucher family's collection of portraits comprises 879 objects, which have been kept by the Stadtarchiv Nürnberg (Nuremberg City Archive) as part of the family archive since 2019 (holdings E 29/X).

The collection mainly consists of photographic images of members of the family, their more distant relatives, friends and acquaintances. These cover a period of over a century. The earliest photographs date back to the 1840s, and the latest ones to the mid-20th century, although only about a quarter of them were taken after the turn of the century. The collection includes seven photo albums, mostly from the 19th century, which invite you to experience the use of such albums.

Over 300 different people can be identified from all the photographs. The high number can be explained on the one hand by the one hand by the number of Tucher family members, which was very large in the 19th century – a period in which several other Nuremberg patrician families died out. In addition, the family's good economic situation made it possible to have portraits taken frequently on the one hand and to commission more expensive photographs, for example in large format or with hand colouring on the other hand. Portraits were exchanged within the circle of family, friends and acquaintances, as evidenced by some dedications on the reverse, thus expanding the circle of people in the collection.

There are also individual pieces of different subjects, such as photographs of celebrities of the time, which were popular to collect, and of countries travelled to by the locals. Glimpses of and into the family's possessions are always possible too.
The earliest photographs in the collection deserve special attention. Four daguerreotypes exemplify a very early form of commercial photography. They were created in the 1840s at a time when there were hardly any established photographers.

The Tucher’sche's portrait photographs come from the personal collections of individual family members. The collection depicts all trends and movements in early portrait photography in an exemplary manner beyond individual preferences.

Lisa Reinhard

>> This collection is part of the holdings of "The Tucher von Simmelsdorf family archive" of the Tucher’sche Kulturstiftung (Tucher Cultural Foundation) and is located in the Stadtarchiv Nürnberg.