Konstformer I Naturen (Art Froms in Nature). Photographs by Karl Blossfeldt. Text by Axel Romdahl and C. Skottsberg. Bokförlaget Natur och Kultur, Stockholm, 1930. XIV pp. + plates. Tall quarto. First Swedish edition. Decorative boards and endpapers. Three-quarter leather (spine and corners) binding. Debossed spine decoration with gilt title. Upper edges gilt. 120 gravure reproductions.
A rare find!! This is the extremely rare Swedish edition of Blossfeldt's much-loved Urformen der Kunst (Art Forms in Nature). Unlike the better known German, English, and French editions that are bound in green cloth, this 1930 Swedish edition is richly bound in three-quarter leather (spine and corners). It contains the same 120 plates, also printed rich gravure.
Blossfeldt was a university teacher and used his photographs to teach formal art studies at the Royal School of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin. He photographed plants systematically with a 13x18cm view camera of his own construction. Immensely popular and profound in their simplicity, Blossfeldt's typology of plant forms drew parallels between nature and art. They were used as inspiration for jewelers, wrought iron workers, designers, craftsman, and artists worldwide. His vision is as fresh and unforgettable today as one could imagine it to be when this book was first published. As Parr and Badger point out, while Urformen der Kunst was "a key model for the 'typologies' school of contemporary German photography...it was not a Conceptual work of art. It was, like so much German photography of this period, pedagogical in nature, as much founded on the Arts-and-Crafts ethos as Bauhaus principles."