One man, one woman, one time, one place and 45 years...

From 1900 to 1945 Anna and Richard Wagner had a photograph taken of themselves in their front room every Christmas Eve, and they sent the picture as a Christmas Card to their friends. Here are eight of the pictures, with a commentary from Kristen Lippincott’s “The Story of Time“:


“The first card shows the young and newly married couple - Richard sports a silver topped cane and Anna lift up Meitz, her cat, to show him the various gifts they have received. The house is sparsely decorated but comfortable.


“By 1912 their material wealth has increased, as have their waistlines. Richard now sits at the desk as Anna tidies around him.


“A map is included in the 1915 picture to show the advances of the German Troops in the Great War.


“By 1917, the fortunes of the War have been reversed, and Anna and Richard are in their overcoats, signaling the lack of winter fuel.


“In 1927, Richard begins to wear glasses and is hair is showing signs of grey. Anna’s Christmas present for that year is a vacuum cleaner - electricity has been installed.


“1935 is a frugal year and Richard begins to look older.


“By 1942, both have gone completely grey and are again wearing their winter coats.

The final picture in the series shows Anna all alone - no tree, no presents. Richard had died in August of that year. And even though Anna lived another five years, the series stops here”

The pictures are now housed at the Heimatmuseum, Berlin.