Karl Blossfeldt: Urformen der Kunst
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Bid # High Bid Name Time (MT)
3 $630* dieuiv 15:16:24  Mar 18
2 $600 kimba 15:16:24  Mar 18
1 $400 kimba 18:46:18  Mar 9
Estimated Value: $ 1,200  –  $1,300
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Auction Ended
Mar 21, 2005 2:00 pm MT
Urformen der Kunst. Photographische Pflanzenbilder von Professor Karl Blossfeldt. Introduction by Karl Nierendorf. Verlag Ernst Wasmith A.G., Berlin, 1929. XVII pp. + plates. Second edition. Folio. Gilt stamped green cloth. 120 gravure reproductions.

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 Martin Parr and Gerry 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."
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.

References: The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century, pp. 48-49; The Photobook: A History, vol. I, p. 96.

Plastic protective jacket (visible in illustration); a Very Good copy with staining to boards; pages affected only slightly in lower margins of plates; hinge is starting but secure (may have been repaired), a bump to the rear board near foot of spine affects lower portion of text block and front board; only minor abrasion to corners.
Karl Blossfeldt: Urformen der Kunst Karl Blossfeldt: Urformen der Kunst
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