Michael Schmidt

1945
born in Berlin-Kreuzberg on October 6th

1950
the family moves to Erkner, German Democratic Republic, close to Berlin-East

1955
the family escapes to Berlin-West

1961-62
starts an apprenticeship as house painter, which he doesn’t complete

1963
joins the police force

1965
starts to photograph

1968
marries Angelika Miersch

1969
teaches a photography course at Volkshochschule Kreuzberg, a district adult education centre

1970
conducts and teaches seminars on photography at adult education centres Berlin-Kreuzberg and Berlin-Neukölln

1971
birth of his daughter Olivia, leaves Angelika Miersch

1972
learns to know his future wife Karin Kopto, née Steinke

1973
leaves the police force, starts to work as free-lance photographer and continues to teach at adult education centres

1975
develops a concept and starts to work on founding a „Workshop for Photography“ in Berlin

1976
stops to work in the field of applied photography and focuses on his own photographic projects. Opens the ”Workshop for Photography“ at the adult education centre Kreuzberg and takes over the artistic and organisational management

1976-78
teaches at the College of Education Berlin

1976-81
Member of Gesellschaft Deutscher Lichtbildner (Society of German Photographers)

1977
quits directing ”Werkstatt for Photography“, but keeps on advising and teaching there

1979
teaches at the University of Essen, Department 4

1979-84
Member of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (German Society of Photography)

1980
External final exam as Qualified Designer with the emphasis on photography; teaches at the University of Essen, Department 4

1981
terminates his activity at ”Workshop for Photography“

1982
marries Karin Kopto

1984
Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Foundation Grant for Contemporary Photography

1985-88
teaches at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) Berlin, Department 11

1988
Photography Grant, Senatsverwaltung für Kulturelle Angelegenheiten (Administration of Senate for Cultural Affairs), Berlin

1988/92
Visiting Professor for Photography as Art at the Sommerakademie Salzburg (Summer Academy Salzburg), Salzburg, Austria

1996
Photography Grant, Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur (Administration of Senate for Science, Research and Culture), Berlin

1999
appointed as member of Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts), Berlin

2014
wins the Prix Pictet Award

2014
passes away on May 24 in Berlin

Lived and worked in Berlin and Schnackenburg/Elbe, Lower Saxony

Michael Schmidt, Schnackenburg, 2010 (Photo © Albrecht Fuchs)
Michael Schmidt, Self portrait with Karin, Schnackenburg, 1983 (© Foundation for Photography and Media Art with the Michael Schmidt Archive)
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