Hotline +49 30 47 38 78 45

Basic Data

David Goldblatt was a South African photographer best known for his critical visual essays documenting his homeland during and after apartheid.

  • Born: 29 November 1930
  • Place of birth: Randfontein, South Africa
  • Died: 25 June 2018
  • Nationality: South African
  • Studied at: University of the Witwatersrand
  • Era: Contemporary art


David Goldblatt was born in Randfontein in 1930. He came from a family of Lithuanian Jews who had fled to South Africa in 1890. While still at school, Goldblatt developed an interest in photography and began documenting everyday life in South Africa. Since the profession of photojournalism was still an unknown field of work, he first completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Witwatersrand University. 

After his father's death, Goldblatt sold the family textile business to finance his entry into professional photography. In addition to his work as an advertising journalist, he devoted himself to documenting the apartheid system in the 1960s and 1970s, portraying both the everyday living conditions of the people and the country's landscapes and architecture. He often preferred black and white photographs to depict the harsh reality of South African life during this period. With his artistic and ethical approach, he sought to portray his subjects with respect and empathy rather than objectification. 

Goldblatt's work offers a deep insight into South Africa's complex and often painful history and is a valuable testament to the social and political changes taking place in the country. In 2018, the artist passed away in Johannesburg at the age of 87. His works are now represented in the prestigious museums and galleries around the world.



  • 26.02.21 – 31.12.21 Helga de Alvear Collection – Centro de Artes Visuales Helga de Alvear, Cáceres.
  • 24.04.20 – 26.06.20 Allied with Power: African and African Diaspora Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection – Perez Art Museum -PAMM, Miami.
  • 02.11.19 – 27.01.20 Mapping Worlds: Selected Works from the Scheryn Art Collection – Norval Foundation, Cape Town.
  • 15.10.17 - 21.01.18 Resident Alien. The Marin Karmitz Collection - La Maison Rouge, Paris.
  • 08.05.17 - 21.01.18 SERRALVES COLLECTION: 1960-1980 - Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto.



  • 1987: Hallmark Fellow at the Aspen Conference in Design, Aspen, Colorado.
  • 1992: Gahan Fellow in Photography at Harvard University.
  • 1995: Camera Austria Prize.
  • 2001: Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, University of Cape Town.
  • 2006: Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography.



  • David Goldblatt. Structures of dominion and democracyKarolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska, David Goldblatt, Göttingen 2018.
  • David Goldblatt. Südafrikanische Fotografien  1952 - 2006, Martin Parr (Publ.), Basel 2007.
  • David Goldblatt. Hasselblad Award 2006, David Goldblatt, Ostfildern 2006.













South Africa