The internationally acclaimed portrait photographer Michael Dannenmann has been the chairman of the jury of the Felix Schoeller Photo Award since the competition began. The jury decides on the quality of the entries without any influence of the company whatsoever. This independence is what consistently inspires and motivates the prominent jury members from the worlds of museums and galleries, research and academia, specialist publication and photojournalism to place their professional expertise and critical judgment at our disposal. The jury does not know the names or origins of the entrants.

Jury 2019

Michael Dannenmann

Chairman of the jury

Photo Tatjana Blechert

Michael Dannenmann initially studied art at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design and went on to study photography at the University of Dortmund. When he’s not tied down by chairing the jury, he travels the world setting the scene for the persons portrayed in his highly acclaimed portrait work. Since 1990, he has predominantly shot portraits of artists, dancers, musicians, authors and prominent representatives of the worlds of business and politics in private or in his own studio. His work has been published in various media, including international magazines and book projects, and has also been shown in numerous exhibitions and collections. In addition to working as a photographer, Michael Dannenberg also hosts workshops and curates exhibitions. He is a member of the DGPh.


Nils-Arne Kässens

Photo Angela von Brill

Nils-Arne Kässens is the Director of the Museum Quarter Osnabrück, the complex comprising the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, the Museum of Cultural History, the Villa Schlikker, and the Akzisehaus. In the course of his career, Kässens realized numerous national and international art projects, for example, for the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Exhibition Hall of the Fridericianum Museum, the Museion Bolzano, or sculpture x/USA. As a guest lecturer, Nils-Arne Kässens lectured at universities including the University of Kassel, the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Windsor University in Canada, or at Wayne-State-University in the USA.


Simone Klein

Photo Laurence Mary

Simone Klein is Art Advisor as well as independent and publicly appointed and sworn expert for photography in Cologne. After studying art history, Roman and German language and literature in Bonn and at the Sorbonne in Paris, she became assistant at the Galerie Kicken in Cologne. Then head of the photography department at Kunsthaus Lempertz Cologne, then director of the photography department at Sotheby's Europe with auctions in Paris, London and New York. Most recently she was international director of the Print sales department at the Agency Magnum Photos in Paris. Member of the curatorial committee of Photo London as well as the nominating jury of the Prix Pictet, chairwoman of the advisory board of the SK Stiftung Kultur - Die Photographische Sammlung Köln, member of the advisory board of the Photoszene Köln and member of the executive board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh). She also lectures on art and photography market at the Danube University in Krems and at the Sciences Po Lille.


Clara Maria Sels

Photo Joanna Kischka

In 2011, Clara Maria Sels co-founded the Duesseldorf Photo Weekend together with Werner Lippert, the former director of NRW-Forum Düsseldorf. She assumed the position of festival director in 2013 and has successfully managed the event ever since. In 2014 and 2015, Clara Sels organised the exhibitions staged at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf in conjunction with the Duesseldorf Photo Weekend. A highlight of the photo festival in 2016 was the exhibition HP Horst Photographer of Style which was also able to be shown in Düsseldorf thanks to the initiative of the Duesseldorf Photo Weekends. Clara Sels is the owner of the Clara Maria Sels Gallery in Düsseldorf, which she founded in 1989. Among the first artists she represented were the photographers Duane Michals and Francesca Woodman.

Jury 2019

Michel Dannenmann Portrait Photographer (DGPh), Dusseldorf
Clare Freestone Curator National Portrait Gallery, London
Gérard A. Goodrow Curator and Author, Cologne
Clara Maria Sels Gallerist, Dusseldorf
Julia Sörgel Leitung Chief Photo Editor ICON / Welt am Sonntag, Berlin
Andrea Vollmer-Hess Chief Photo Editor VOGUE Germany, Munich

Jury 2017

Michael Dannenmann Portrait photographer (DGPh), Düsseldorf
Gérard A. Goodrow Curator and author, Cologne
Simone Klein Magnum Photos, Paris
Clara Maria Sels Gallerist, Düsseldorf
Julia Sörgel Photo Editor-in-Chief at ICON / Welt am Sonntag, Berlin

Jury impressions – the quality of the work entered in the competition


Jury impressions – the internationality of the competition


Jury impressions – the principle of anonymous assessmen

Jury 2015

Michael Dannenmann Portrait photographer (DGPh), Düsseldorf

Ellen Dietrich Picture Editor, DIE ZEIT, Hamburg

Thomas Gerwers Editor-in-Chief and co-publisher of PROFIFOTO, Juechen

Gérard A. Goodrow Curator and author, Cologne

Norbert Waning Curator, Stuttgart

Jury 2013

Michael Dannenmann portrait photographer (DGPh), Düsseldorf

Ellen Dietrich Picture Editor, DIE ZEIT, Hamburg

Thomas Gerwers Editor-in-Chief and co-publisher of PROFIFOTO, Juechen

Werner Lippert
art critic and exhibition organizer, Düsseldorf

Prof. Jörg Winde Vice Dean of the Faculty of Design and Photography at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts