Photographs by German photographer Hugo Brehme Wick (1882-1954, known as Hugo Brehme) who immigrated to Mexico around 1903 and worked there for the remainder of his life. Best known as a photographer of Mexican landscapes, especially of the volcanoes outside the Valley of Mexico, Brehme also photographed people and places throughout the country, much as other photographers did to sell primarily to the tourist market. He also made a few notable photographs during the Revolution, including the famous photograph of Emiliano Zapata distributed by the Casasola Agency. Some photographs in this collection are stamped on back "negative by Sumner W. Matteson."
From the guide to the Hugo Brehme Mexico Photograph Collection, 1903-1943, (University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research)
Biographical / Historical Note
Hugo Brehme, born in Germany in 1882, arrived in Mexico in 1908 with his wife and photographic equipment. Though he expected the visit to be relatively brief, he spent the rest of his life in Mexico and is considered one of the founders of Mexican pictorialist photography. His early photographs were documentary, and include views of the Mexican Revolution that have served as source material for various 20th century Mexican artists. The most famous of these, the portrait of Zapata in Cuernavaca, was for many years attributed to Agustín Víctor Casasola, with whom Brehme collaborated from 1913 to1914. After the revolution, Brehme turned to pictorialism, making impressionistic views of the Mexican landscape and inhabitants. These photographs, taken as he wandered with cumbersome equipment through remote, often mountainous regions, were highly acclaimed when published in his collection México Pintoresco (1923). Brehme continued to publish photographs in magazines such as National Geographic and Mapa, and in various books about Mexican culture and geography, until his death in 1954. Brehme, Hugo, México pintoresco, México D.F., 1990 (1923). Brehme, Hugo, México: una nación persistente: fotografías, México D.F., 1995. Brehme, Hugo, Pueblos y paisajes de México, México D.F., 1992.
From the guide to the Hugo Brehme views of the Mexican Revolution, 1913-1920, (Getty Research Institute)