Leica’s CEO has revealed that the camera manufacturer owns the largest chain of photo galleries in the world.
Speaking at the company’s 50th-anniversary celebration of its factory in Porto, Portugal on Friday, Dr. Andreas Kaufmann told a gathered crowd, “We usually don’t tell people this, but we have the world record for the largest chain of photo galleries in the world.”
Art director of Leica Galleries International, Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, tells PetaPixel that the company has 25 photo galleries worldwide with more planned.
“Amsterdam is coming in October, Mexico City in November, New York in March 2024, and Tokyo sometime next year,” says Karin.
Leica already has galleries in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America. The galleries are typically separate areas of Leica’s shop selling its hardware.
Karin says the galleries are “one of the most important values” to the brand.
“Even today, to be a photographer is difficult. It’s important for photographers because there is less exposure than ever before,” she says.
“We have to look for the new talents, we need to look for photographers in their home countries. Each gallery has a local flavor.”
Leica galleries don’t only take photographers that use cameras made by the German company, Karin says that it is about “80 percent Leica, 20 percent other brands.”
She also adds that gallery bosses will take all types of photography genres, not just the street style that Leica is synonymous with.
“Reportage and documentary is part of Leica’s heritage, but we will take every type of photography.”
How Do You Get Featured in a Leica Gallery?
Photographers who want to be featured in a Leica gallery can get in touch with their local shop and ask if they can be exhibited.
Many photographers will produce their own prints and files. Some shooters, particularly older ones, are reluctant to hand over the master files or negatives. However, Leica does promise to delete them after the printing process is done.
For a full list of Leica’s photo galleries around the world, head to its website.