Anna Katharina Suessmann in mourning garb, Hesse, 2011
Melissa Faithful for Art-Sheep
All images © Eric Schuett
The photographer was first inspired for this project, when he met Maria Anna Griessbaum, a ninety-something woman living in Black Forest. Her traditional attire and captivating stories made Shuett interested in his country’s culture and history. He then reached out to more elderly women he found by visiting various museums and consulting historical texts. The ones he met were of an age that most of the times wouldn’t allow them to make even the most basic things on their own. Getting dressed was an issue for the most of them, especially since their attire heavily.
These women are the last living example of an era that has long passed. As times changed, fashion changed, but some women stayed true to what they knew. The reasons why they did that vary. Some couldn’t afford new clothes, while some others did it because their husbands preferred it. Unfortunately as they grow old, Shuett notes, these women may have to give up the complex outfits, as they are challenging to assemble.
Some of the women he met and photographed, have passed away. That’s why it is important for the photographer to record and pass on the stories of these women, who had nothing uncommon about the way they lived.
Emma Krahl, Lusatia, 2010
Anna Katharina Haber, Hesse, 2014
Engel Marie Meier, Schaumburg, 2011
Gertrude Lesch, Hesse, 2014
Luise Ketterer, Black Forest, 2012
Maria Anna Griessbaum, Black Forest, 2009
Maria Mirtschink, Lusatia, 2010
Anna Pawelczyk, Schaumburg, 2010
Anna Katharina Suessmann, Hesse, 2010
Anna Schaefer, Schaumburg, 2010