Art Forms in Nature. Examples from the Plant World Photographed Direct from Nature by Professor Karl Blossfeldt. With an Introduction by Karl Nierendorf. E. Weyhe. New York, 1929. First American Edition. Quarto, green cloth stamped in gilt. 256 pp., 120 gravure plates, list of plates.
This extraordinary book of plant architecture was the first of two volumes published of Karl Blossfeldt's work, each containing 120 different gravure plates. This American edition has the same extraordinary gravure printing found in the 1928 German edition entitled Urformen der Kunst. Many later editions exist with some abridged editions including only 96 plates and others including halftone reproductions. Highly sought after, the 1928-1932 volumes are by far the most rare of all Blossfeldt books as they contain richer gravure printing. These plates are sometimes found for sale separately from unbound books.
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.
Reference: The Book of 101 Books
A small unobtrusive brown stain on front cover; 1/4" tear to cloth at top of spine; corners and edges show wear; front and rear end pages are starting to separate at the gutter; internally tight; previous owner's 1x2" book label at top of front loose end paper; show evidence of 1/2x1" tape of some sort being applied and removed at the top five plates; gilt cover plant form design is fresh with gilt lettering on spine showing dullness.