Skip to Navigation

Infinity Awards

2014 Recipient for the Cornell Capa Lifetime Achievement Award: Jürgen Schadeberg

Jürgen Schadeberg, whose career spans more than 65 years, has been called the father of South African photography. Schadeberg emigrated to South Africa from Berlin in 1950 at age 19. There, he became chief photographer, picture editor, and art director at Drum Magazine. During the 1950s, he documented pivotal moments in the struggle against Apartheid. He photographed key political figures including Nelson Mandela, Dr. Moroka, Walter Sisulu, and Yusuf Dadoo as well as jazz and literary stars Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Kippie Moeketsi, and many others.

Schadeberg left South Africa for London in 1964. From then until his return in 1985, he served as a freelance photojournalist for leading publications in Europe and America; taught at the New School in New York, the Central School of Art & Design in London, and the Hoch Kunst School in Hamburg; and curated several exhibitions, including "The Quality of Life" at the New National Theatre Complex in London.

His work has been exhibited widely, including in a major retrospective at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town in 1996. In 2007, Schadeberg was awarded the Officer’s Verdienst Kreuz First Class by the German President. He now divides his time between Berlin, Paris, South Africa, and Spain and continues to actively work on new photographic projects, books, and exhibitions.

Jürgen Schadeberg, <em>Nelson Mandela, Treason Trial</em>, 1958. Courtesy the artist.
Jürgen Schadeberg, Nelson Mandela, Treason Trial, 1958. Courtesy the artist.