on view

A Showroom for Photobooks


In quick rotation THE BOX will showcase treasures from our collection, remarkable and new discoveries or small thematic exhibitions with and about photobooks.

as of 10. March 2023


The spectrum of genres and stories is as lush as it is diverse. They range from the classic “bio-pics” to photographic heroes such as Weegee and Henri Cartier-Bresson to illustrated children’s books about famous female photographers such as Anna Atkins, Dorothea Lange and Vivian Maier. Techniques and individual chapters of photographic history are also popular subjects of graphic novels. Last but not least, the synopsis shows how different the aesthetic settings are. Sometimes incunabula of photography are not only recited and used in drawings for the respective narrative, but even draw their visual design entirely from photographic originals. The conclusion of the review: between photo books and comics, a new genre is manifesting itself – PHOTO GRAPHIC NOVEL BOOKS!

01.04.2023  20:00 Uhr
From Photobook to Graphic Novel
Artist Talk with Carlos Spottorno

(Carlos Spottorno unfortunately has to postpone this evening. Information will follow.)

06. – 07.05.2023 
24h Reading Room

From Saturday 16:00 to Sunday 16:00


Körnerstraße 6–8
Köln - Ehrenfeld 


Reading Room
Thursday: 16:00–22:00
Saturday: 12:00–16:00
and on apointment

On View: 24/7

THE BOX is supported by:


Drawing from Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide 
by Isabel Quintero & Zeke Peña, Getty 2018

past show


For the opening of their showroom, Markus Schaden and Frederic Lezmi are presenting their "Directors' Choice - Our Favourite Photobook 2022":

Studio Photo Nationale

by Samuel Fosso

published by Sébastien Girard 

In 2014, when civil war was raging in the Central African Republic, Samuel Fosso’s studio in the capital Bangui was looted. The photojournalists Jerome Delay, Marcus Bleasdale and Peter Bouckaert rescued the negatives from destruction and sent them to Fosso who had already emigrated to Paris.
For seven years, these three steel boxes containing more than 50,000 negatives remained locked. In the spring of 2021, the French photographer and book designer Sébastien Girard gained access to this lost photographic material and edited it.

This photobook, produced by Girard on his Riso Press, is dedicated to Fosso’s early studio photographs from the 1980s and tells the fascinating story of Studio Photo Nationale several decades before Fosso was discovered as a major African artist.

28. October 2022  –  4. March 2023


Spread from Studio Photo Nationale, Toulouse 2021

THE BOX - Opening on 28. October 2022
Photo: Frederic Lezmi

Studio Photo Nationale at THE BOX
Photos: Frederic Lezmi & Markus Schaden


backround image: Samuel Fosso, aus Studio Photo Nationale, Toulouse 2021