Lueders Photographic Collection Exhibit to Open at Southeast’s Kent Library



Sept. 15, 2005 – Photographs from the Paul R. and John L. Lueders Photographic Collection will be on exhibit at Southeast Missouri State University beginning Oct. 2. Special Collections and Archives in the University’s Kent Library will host the exhibit, which will feature 30 images of local personalities and landmarks.

The community is invited to attend the exhibit opening at 2 p.m., where Dr. Frank Nickell, director of the Center for Regional History at Southeast, John L. Lueders and local photographer Tom Neumeyer, will speak on the significance of the collection to the region. A slide show of 40 additional images from the collection will accompany the presentations by the guest speakers, and a display of awards received by Paul Lueders for his photographic work also will be on exhibit during the opening.

The Lueders Studio in Cape Girardeau was established by Herbert L. Lueders in 1925. Originally from Perryville, Mo., Lueders began his career working with his uncle, P.G. Lueders in Perryville. He went on to train at the Gerhardt Sisters Studios in St. Louis and opened studios in Edina and Lexington, Mo., before opening his studio in Cape Girardeau. Lueders won numerous awards for his work, including a gold medal in 1912 for best male portrait at the Missouri Photography Convention.

Upon his retirement in 1957, Lueders’ son Paul assumed control of the business. Paul’s father started teaching him how to take photographs when he was 8 years old. Paul, who worked as a professional photographer since 1933, honed his skills as an Air Force photographer during World War II. He also attended Washington University’s School of Fine Arts, and in 1961 became one of a relatively few portrait photographers to earn a master of photography degree from the Professional Photographers of America, Inc. Paul’s work was recognized with numerous awards throughout his career.

Paul’s brother, John, ran the business operations of the studio beginning in the mid-1960s. The studio operated at their original 427 Broadway location until Paul’s death in 1995.

The Lueders Collection was donated to Southeast Missouri State University in 1995 and is housed in the University’s Special Collections unit in Kent Library. It contains over 75,000 prints and negatives documenting local landmarks, personalities and events. The upcoming exhibit is partially funded by a preservation grant from the Missouri Historical Records Advisory Board, which awarded a $19,880 grant to Special Collections in 2004 to rehouse the collection in archival containers and prepare the exhibit.

The exhibit will be on display in Kent Library until Dec. 16, when it will then be available to other cultural institutions as a traveling exhibit. For more information on the collection or the exhibit opening, contact Special Collections at (573) 651-2245.