Hannes Wanderer — Photo Courtesy of and © Nathaniel Grann
Hannes was a very special and unique person. He was totally committed to the cause – publishing and promoting photobooks, albeit to the exclusion of much else. Whenever you would go to his store, you would experience a gracious storyteller and teacher, who along the way persuaded you of the value of some of the photobooks available each time, as well as their contexts. He shared his tremendous understanding of the fields of photography and publishing, and freely gave advice if and when you wanted it, also about potential projects the visitor might have been contemplating. Stories about crowded subways in Japan, rural rituals in the American midwest, a mother in Russia and stories told to her child, a German fellow who started a family that grew and thus resulted in a three-volume set of photobooks. Well, he was able to still let me have a proof copy of the first volume of that latter set, and I have the other two as well (einer-zwei-drei by Fred Hüning); they were snapped up quickly, since the assessment of the market that Hannes had was quite realistic, and he shared all that with you each time. He had a special sensitivity toward the needs of each visitor, shown by the stories that he was able to tailor to the visitor’s goals and purposes – a rare talent. I particularly enjoyed his tales about the printing craft, especially about his collaboration with his brother in Lower Saxony, where I briefly lived as a child.
60 is way too early an age at which such a treasure should be lost to us. We will hold Hannes Wanderer in the highest esteem, as a member of the photographic community, and especially as an honest, gracious, and enthusiastic human being!