the beier collection

photographic treasure trove

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It started with a spectacular discovery. After the death of Berlin resident Manfred Beier in 2002, we began to clean up our father's basement to sort out the inheritance and came across a treasure. A seemingly unmanageable collection of negatives, slides, notebooks and home movies.

We found dozens of wooden boxes stacked on shelves as well as numerous chests of drawers -- similar to pharmacist cabinets and apparently custom-made. The drawers contained removable inserts, each of which had staggered rows of small drilled holes about three centimeters in diameter. Each of these holes held a roll of miniature film. We could only estimate the number of pictures that our father had left behind:
some 60,000 photographs, plus a series of home movies.

But what to do with this phenomenal collection? After we had made prints of some negatives, we recognized the superior technical quality of the photographs. More fascinating was the craftsmanship and the sovereign subject's choice, combined with a passionate view of the photographer. It turned out as a gigantic photo treasure - a lifetime's work and a lucky coincidence in history!