Amalia Krieger, photographer

“She was known in broad communities by artists and citizens both in Kraków and throughout Poland. She was widely liked for her personality and artistic background (…). She devoted her life to work related to photographing monuments (…) of her beloved city of Kraków and Poland. Showing utmost diligence and reverence, she spared no effort in collecting new film rolls and enlarging the collection left by her brother and father“.

Nowy Dziennik, 27/09/1928

Who knows if we would be able to looks at Ignacy Krieger’s photographs if it hadn’t been for the efforts of his daughter, Amalia Krieger (1846–1928)? It was she who had set up a foundation for the preservation of her father’s oeuvre two years before she died herself. With no more strength to run the family business, she gave the municipality of Kraków the entire studio equipment and the thousands of film rolls gathered for many years. The donation went to the Museum of Industry and then to the Library of the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1967, the precious collection found shelter in the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków. Unfortunately, the studio equipment was not preserved.
Amalia was not only a guardian of her father’s oeuvre, she was also professionally committed to photography. From Ignacy Krieger’s five children, it was she and her brother Natan who devoted themselves to running the family photography studio located on the corner of Kraków’s Main Market Square and św. Jana Street. After Ignacy had died in 1889, the business was officially taken over by his son Natan. But in fact both siblings ran it together. Amalia became the official and independent owner of the Krieger studio in 1903 after her brother’s death, and managed it until 1926. She continued, thus, to personally photograph wealthy Kraków inhabitants in the family studio. She also continued cooperation with the Society of the Fans of Kraków History and Monuments, which she was a member of herself. Famous Krieger photographs of Kraków monuments were featured in Rocznik Krakowski [Kraków Annual] published by the Society. Today, they provide an invaluable source of knowledge about Kraków’s look of that time. It is hard to tell which photographs were taken by Ignacy and which by Amalia or Natan, as the siblings signed their own photographs with their father’s name, even after his death. This makes it difficult to identify authorship of the photographs to this day. They were taken by the Kriegers: Ignacy, Natan and also Amalia, who additionally made great efforts to preserve the collection of great significance to Kraków and the region of Małopolska.

Elaborated by Kinga Kołodziejska (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

See also: Photograph Portrait of two boys by Ignacy Krieger