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Photographer Spends 10 Years Travelling The World To Photograph The Most Beautiful Libraries On The Planet


At first thought, you might not regard a library as a place to go to see amazing design and architecture.

German architectural photographer Reinhard Görner has made it his life's work to change these perceptions, photographing both historical and contemporary architecture. Attending photography classes during university, he was intrigued by architectural photography after attending a lecture by Julius Shulman and being inspired by his book Architectural Photography. For more than 40 years he has made a name for himself in the field, exhibiting his work around the field.

Görner—who has also pursued fine art photographer over the past 12 years—often works in series, which are continual collections of international interiors. For instance, his Libraries portfolios, which he began in 2008, has him capturing these areas of educational contemplation, demonstrating the wide variety of interior styles from Berlin to Oxford.

His photographs of over 50 extraordinary libraries show the mesmerizing symmetry and lush opulence of the book palaces, shelves stacked high with knowledge just waiting to be learned. Through his interior photographs, the viewer appreciates the space not only as an educational area, but as a work of art unto themselves.

“My purpose is always to open spaces, in each sense, visual, mental and spiritual. I want to transcend the peoples’ mind in a calmer, more creative realm,” Görner shares with My Modern Met via email. “If you look at one of my pictures, the world expands, tells stories and enlightens your everyday life. To photograph architecture is a question of composition and focus. When I photograph I am very concentrated and in a state of flow consciousness. I want to induce through my pictures a similar state of mind in the beholder.”

  1. 1 Duke Humfrey’s Library. Oxford (2017)

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  2. 2 Open Space, City Library. Stuttgart (2014)

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  3. 3 Library Hall, Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences. Görlitz (2015)

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  4. 4 Cathedral of Books. Manchester (2017)

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  5. 5 Inter Arma Charitas II. Portugal (2016)

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  6. 6 The Brain, Freie Universität. Berlin (2005)

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  7. 7 Entrance of Biblioteca Joanina. Portugal (2015)

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  8. 8 Palácio Nacional de Mafra I. Portugal (2016)

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  9. 9 St. Peter’s Abbey II. Austria (2016)

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  10. 10 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Library. Berlin (2010)

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