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DEATH OF ROBERT GORNEMANN (article first published : 2001-07-15)

Photographer Robert Gornemann died at his home in Durban several days ago. A familiar face on the Durban photographic scene, he used to run his own studio with his wife Sybil.

He took up photography in the early 60’s, working as an apprentice for Gerry Roberts who then owned the long-established photographic studio Geray’s.

“He worked for me for a year, after which he felt he had learned enough and wanted to become independent,” says Gerry Roberts who is now retired but continues to do commercial photography and portraiture as well as weddings. “He wanted to specialise but I advised him against it because Durban hadn’t got the scope for it. I remember telling him: If you specialise in Durban you’ll normally starve – unless you’re in the medical profession!”

Painstaking in the capturing of his images, Robert Gornemann became well-known for his food photography. He also did corporate work and portraiture as well as publicity photographs for theatre productions.

“His theatre photography was always immaculate,” says Robert Cross, former head of Natal Performing Arts Council now The Playhouse Company.




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