Photographer Spends Almost 10 Years Photographing the Most Beautiful Libraries Around the World

Inter Arma Charitas library portugal by reinhard gorner

Inter Arma Charitas II. Portugal (2016)
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German architectural photographer Reinhard Görner has been working in the field since 1982, 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.”

Architectural photographer Reinhard Görner has spent almost 10 years photographing interiors of the world's most beautiful libraries.

Open Space City Library Stuttgart

Open Space, City Library. Stuttgart (2014)

Reinhard Görner library photography

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Library. Berlin (2010)

Palácio Nacional de Mafra library by reinhard gorner

Palácio Nacional de Mafra I. Portugal (2016)

Lusatian Library of Sciences Görlitz

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

The Brain, Freie Universität berlin

The Brain, Freie Universität. Berlin (2005)

Biblioteca Joanina portugal

Entrance of Biblioteca Joanina. Portugal (2015)

cathedral of books manchester by reinhard gorner

Cathedral of Books. Manchester (2017)

St. Peter's Abbey library austria

St. Peter's Abbey II. Austria (2016)

Duke Humfrey's Library Oxford

Duke Humfrey's Library. Oxford (2017)

Reinhard Görner: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Reinhard Görner.

Related Articles:

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Traveling Photographer Captures Most Beautiful Libraries Around the World

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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