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Biography

Hilde Irene Bauer was born on March 31, 1907, in Munich, Germany, where she also earned her doctorate in art history in 1931 under Wilhelm Pinder. In 1933, she completed her two-year training as a photographer at the Institute of Photography, which was established in Munich in 1900. Letters and photographic commissions attest her residence in Italy from 1935 onwards, together with her first husband, Bernhard Degenhart. They were both closely connected with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence and with the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome. Hilde Bauer’s first photographs were taken for H. Keller’s and B. Degenhart’s contributions which were published in 1937 in the Kunstgeschichtliches Jahrbuch by the Bibliotheca Hertziana. She also contributed photographic works to articles by L.H. Heydenreich, W. Gramberg, A. Griesebach, H. Keller, W. Koerte and later H.W. Kruft. Right from the start, she knowingly employed the instrument of photography for art-historical purposes, using detailed photographs, unknown angles and artistic techniques to document works of art. The photo campaigns assigned to her from 1939 onwards by the director of the institute in Florence, Friedrich Kriegbaum, which predominantly covered Renaissance sculpture in Tuscany, were tragically interrupted by the events of war and Kriegbaum’s death during an air raid in 1943. In September 1943, she returned to Munich. Almost a decade in America, from 1953 to 1962, was followed by another move, this time to Rome to the Bibliotheca Hertziana, when her second husband, Wolfgang Lotz, was appointed its director in 1962. Exhibitions of her photographic work have been held in Florence (1977), London (1980), Bonn (1981) and Mannheim (1993). In 1984, Hilde Lotz-Bauer returned to her home city, where she died almost blind in 1999.