Wern­er Mantz (1901–1983) is known as one of the most promi­nent pho­to­g­ra­phers of the Neues Bauen move­ment of mod­er­nist ar­chi­tec­ture in Cologne dur­ing the 1920s. Born and raised in Cologne, in 1921 he opened a pho­to stu­dio, where he ini­tial­ly took por­traits of fa­mous in­tel­lec­tu­als, artists, and politi­cians. In 1926 he be­gan re­ceiv­ing com­mis­sions as an ar­chi­tec­tu­ral pho­to­g­ra­pher for Wil­helm Riphahn, Peter Franz Nöck­er, Cas­par Maria Grod, and other rep­re­sen­ta­tives of avant-garde ar­chi­tec­ture who im­ple­ment­ed Kon­rad Ade­nauer’s hous­ing pol­i­cy for a mod­ern Cologne.

Ar­chi­tec­tu­ral mag­azines such as Bauwelt, Die Form, and Bauwarte fre­quent­ly pub­lished his works. Their ob­jec­tive, black-and-white aus­ter­i­ty gives the de­sert­ed build­ings and streets in Mantz’s pic­tures the ap­pear­ance of monu­men­tal back­drops of the mod­ern age. It was th­ese pic­tures that made Cologne’s mod­er­nist ar­chi­tec­ture renowned be­yond the boun­daries of the ci­ty.

In 1932 Mantz opened a se­cond stu­dio in Maas­tricht, and he moved to the Nether­lands in 1938. There he re­turned to por­trait pho­tog­ra­phy and spe­cial­ized in por­traits of chil­dren. He saw his por­traits as equal­ly im­por­tant as his ar­chi­tec­tu­ral pho­to­graphs, but they have not yet been ex­hibit­ed. The Mu­se­um Lud­wig will now bring to­gether th­ese two as­pects of his oeu­vre and will al­low vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence it in its his­tor­i­cal breadth and di­ver­si­ty for the first time ev­er.