The Future's Ours!

Amateur Photographs by Graz Resident Uto Laur between 1930 and 1970


Opening: 30.01.2020, 19 Uhr
Curated by: Heimo Hofgartner

About the exhibition

The exhibition The Future’s Ours! is dedicated to Uto Laur, an amateur photographer and film-maker from Graz who has fallen into obscurity. Born in a suburb of Kursk in 1904, Uto Laur and his family moved to his maternal grandparents in Graz in 1907. Sunday visits with his mother to the Graz cinema, established in 1906, decisively influenced the path he took in life.

After an odyssey in terms of jobs, working as a trainee at the Großdeutsche Partei, in a bank and finally in the film business, he began to work as an operator in a sound cinema in 1931, aged 27. He practised this occupation until his retirement. Moreover, Laur himself engaged with the film medium and was active as an amateur photographer. Some of his – in his own words – ‘semi-professional’ photographs made their way as illustrations into various daily newspapers from the mid-1930s onwards.

Along with several of the films he made, Uto Laur left part of his photographic output to the Multimedia Collections at the Joanneum. He justified this step as follows in a letter written in 1990: ‘As I have reached 86 this year, I am concerned about my picture and sound archive. It would certainly be a pity if one day this landed on a special-items rubbish dump (…).’

The mass of material received encompasses 600 paper prints, some 6,000 small-format negatives, as well as 750 slides, providing a document of contemporary events in Styria over a period spanning 50 years. The exhibition’s focus is on Laur’s photographs of Graz from 1930 to 1970.


History Museum

Sackstraße 16
8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9800


Opening Hours

Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm


24th/25th December 2023