Exhibition Text:

Photographic Memory
Pictures from the Estate of the Wörschings, Starnberg’s Family of Photographers

It was in the time around 1830, but probably even a bit earlier, that two brothers, a glazier and a musician, arrived in Starnberg […]. At that time, Starnberg was no more than a little fishing village, but even at that time, because of its gorgeous location […], a building boom was little by little taking shape and necessitating the import of various types of craftsmen from the capitol.

Thus begins the Wörsching family chronicle. It was written by Josef Wörsching (1851-1931). And it was he who founded the family tradition of photographic craftmanship. With both business acumen and artistic talent, he and his descendants not only became successful in business but also turned out to become chroniclers of Starnberg and its social landscape. Josef Wörsching grew up in his father’s painting company. He then left home in order to undergo training as a painter, gilder, and stucco-worker, during which time he worked in the palaces of Ludwig II and traveled as a journeyman. When he finally returned, he founded the first photo studio together with his wife, Anastasia, in the house of his father on Possenhofener Straße in Starnberg. The year was 1877. Later, his son Richard (1887-1937) and his grandson Richard (*1932) managed the studio and extended it.

The Starnberg City Archives were able to acquire a large part of the early photographic work in 2010. The holdings offer an impressive view into the past, with snapshots that capture events, moods, and various developments in Starnberg and its surroundings. The photos show moments in the lives of earlier generations, right here along the Starnberger See. The landscape, the roads, buildings, and people seem familiar, but at the same time far removed, back in another time. At the heart of the exhibition are the pictures of life and of people. They show the lake festivals and the carnivals, weddings and fire department festivities, sport clubs and children’s groups, and members of high society. The historical photos are windows into another world that even so is our very own world of the present day.