Showing posts with label History of the Trade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History of the Trade. Show all posts

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Fairy Tale for Bookbinding Apprentices

And now, another story about a "bone folder," this time a fairy tale that contains many autobiographical references to bookbinding training, the trade, and education as they might have been experienced in the first half of the 20th century...

The Wise Bone Folder – A fairy tale for bookbinding apprentices

By Schlaghammer [Franz Weiße*, 1878-1952].
Originally published as "Das kluge Falzbein" in Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 16, Nr 2, 1942 (12-14).
Translation by Peter D. Verheyen, 2/2019

Meister and apprentice (They started very young)
Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindermeister: Eine Einführung in das Buchbinderhandwerk,
Berlin: Reichsinnungsverb. d. Buchbinderhandwerks. 1941.

Once upon a time, at the beginning of his apprenticeship, Franz was given a very common bone folder by his Meister. Franz didn’t think much of this bone folder. For a tool that was never to leave his hands when folding, it felt hard and unfamiliar. Over time, Franz became accustomed to the Bone Folder, and grew so attached to it that he didn’t ever want to lose it. This pleased the Bone Folder immensely, and they became close friends, conversing regularly. It was then that the Bone Folder began to realize how foolish Franz really was, and how much it could help him grow as a binder. Once Franz said to the Bone Folder, “what will become of me if don’t want to become a bookbinder, but rather a book seller? And then, what would I do with you my dear Bone Folder?” Upon this the Bone Folder answered, “don’t start talking nonsense, you will become a bookbinder!” Two years later, Franz asked a similar question. “What is to become of us? I mean, I can bind books now, but maybe I shouldn’t have become a bookbinder?” “Enough,” responded the Bone Folder, “you’re just at the beginning of your life in this wonderful profession of bookbinding! We will leave this place and move on to other cities and Meisters. It is then that you will discover what you really know, and what you still need to learn. Now!” … But, Franz still hesitated. “What do you know already about being a bookbinder?” the Bone Folder continued. “Get away from here, and I’m coming with you! I will take good care of you, and make sure that you will become a real, competent bookbinder. You will even become famous!” This made Franz break out in laughter, “what is that, a famous bookbinder…?

The bindery and book cover factory Hübel & Denck, 1895.
Weisse worked there in their extra-binding department.
Hübel & Denck also published the Monatsblätter für Bucheinbände und Handbindekunst (1924-28),
a monthly newsletter with articles by and for bibliophiles that Ernst Collin wrote for as well.
Each issue had its own distinctive typographical design and often included samples of materials

After completing their apprenticeship, Franz and the Bone Folder began their Journeyman years wandering from bindery to bindery throughout the land. Franz depended on the Bone Folder to help put food on the table, and that was just fine with the Bone Folder. Franz, however, liked heartier fare, so the Bone Folder had to work hard to earn its keep. In doing so, both came to the realization that one really needed to make beautiful bindings to put that fare on the table. They had already worked for three Meisters where they had the opportunity to work on so-called better bindings that they referred to as quarter-leather extra-bindings. But, from these alone one would not be able to “live in luxury” the Meister said. Next they went to a “factory,” a large trade bindery where only new books were bound. These were blank except for the words “My Diary” on the first leaf. This was nothing for them. There were also far too many people working in this factory, and way too much noise that came from the wire binding machines. At this, the Bone Folder suggested attending an arts & crafts school where bookbinding was taught to students who were working towards their Meister’s certificate, and where one could learn the finer points of the trade such as gold tooling and finishing. They would certainly be able to offer guidance on the best path to binding beautiful books. These schools existed in many cities like Berlin, Breslau (Now Wrocław), Hamburg, Munich, Weimar, … And so, Franz and the Bone Folder enrolled and completed their studies, knowing far more about making beautiful books than they did before, and they were proud of their work. Franz now wanted to use his Bone Folder on full-leather extra-bindings! But, life is often unfair, and they were unable to gain entry in binderies where they could apply what they had learned. Everywhere they went they were turned away with a laugh when they brought up their desire to work on these full-leather extra-bindings. Journeymen were never given those creative fine bindings to work on – that was something the Meister reserved for themselves. And, if there happened to be only one Meister in the shop, especially one who wasn’t up to snuff but still bragged about themselves, they might have kept their own journeyman who could complete that kind of work. But, a Meister like that was nowhere to be found. Eventually, in a “factory” for hymnals, they were able to see how the many books received their shiny gilt edges. They stayed there for a while, surreptitiously looking over their colleagues shoulders and working as hard as they could until there was nothing left to learn there. Even if the work was not what one was interested in, there were always things (even little things) to learn, and just as importantly, what not to do.

Schematic for an attaché case, something bookbinders made in leather goods factories.
From Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 11, Nr 6, 1937

Franz always kept the Bone Folder in top left pocket of his white lab coat. When it was not working, the Bone Folder had an ideal perch from which to observe what was happening around it, and to learn. This made it even wiser than it was already. Next, they came to a workshop that specialized in stamping and blocking, and where all they did was stamp gilt ribbons with the words “rest in peace” on both sides. This was very boring work, especially in the long term. Leaving there, they went to another town where the Meister was rude, Franz did nothing but marble, and the Bone Folder had nothing to do… That just wouldn’t do. Finally, they came to a Meister finisher who worked on leather goods such as portfolios, purses, and wallets. Franz worked like a dog in the finishing department there, becoming regarded as an artist among the skilled leather workers. Finally, satisfying work, and the Bone Folder got to mark the lines that France would gild. Both were very happy working there together, and Franz even thought he might want to become a leather goods “baron.” Even the Bone Folder became so excited at that prospect that it imagined itself in a frame hanging over Franz’s desk, admired by all of his friends.

Students in the trade and arts & crafts schools learning the making
of decorated papers (pastepaper and marbling)
From Heinrich Lüers,
Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindermeister Eine Einführung in das Buchbinderhandwerk,
Berlin: Reichsinnungsverb. d. Buchbinderhandwerks. 1941.

However, things turned out very differently. Because the Bone Folder was there with Franz when he visited the art schools to learn drawing and study art, it realized that there was a much better future ahead for Franz than playing the leather goods “baron.” The thought of resting in a frame ultimately did not interest the Bone Folder, either. Work, that was what it was meant to do. They ended up in THE city of books, Leipzig where Franz was able to establish himself as a fine binder, and where they created many fine bindings of his own design together, just for the joy of it. Briefly, they even considered emigrating to England because they could find real bibliophiles there. The Bone Folder was able to talk Franz out of emigrating, telling him that he never liked the English anyway, and why would he want to be among them… “Well” said dear Bone Folder, “we’ll stay in Germany and do well here.”

Continuing professional development of apprentices and journeymen
happens in the trade and arts & crafts schools...
From Heinrich Lüers,
Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindermeister Eine Einführung in das Buchbinderhandwerk,
Berlin: Reichsinnungsverb. d. Buchbinderhandwerks. 1941.

After a while, the two of them became restless again, and no one knows who put the bug in their ears – “Franz, you must become a teacher at one of these vocational schools!” “Yes” said the Bone Folder, “of course!” and Franz chuckled. “And…,” continued the Bone Folder, “you can even become a professor.” “A professor of bookbinding?” No said Franz, there is no such thing anywhere in the world.” But it did happen and Franz was appointed “professor” of bookbinding at one of the leading arts & crafts schools.

Workshop of the Staatl. Kunstgewerbeschule Hamburg where Weiße taught 1907-1942.
More at Kunstgewerbeschule Hamburg.

Many years passed for them there as they taught and fussed over each other, and the next generation of bookbinders. Everywhere, at each bench, and to each student, the Bone Folder dispensed wise words when it demonstrated a turn-in, a well-formed headcap, “if you don’t pay attention to how your professor did it, you will never make it out in the real world. You do want to become teachers some day, don’t you? Don’t make me laugh, you think you can call it done with a little bit of gold tooling? Anyone can learn how to do that if they have the tools, and you seem very pleased with yourselves, and how you use them.” The Bone Folder went on, “there’s so much more to it including how to maintain your tools in top condition and use them safely. The Meister knows all of you, and can make you the best that you can be. The lazy ones among you he will let fall behind... That’s why he is the teacher and Meister, and was appointed as professor!” Oh, this Bone Folder… What it had once prophesied had come to be. But, the Meister students thought Franz had them to thank for his position and honors. They were the best among the best! The foolish ones among them didn’t understand what was going on...”

Franz Weisse, Ernst Klette (publisher), Otto Dorfner, Hugo Wagner
The jury for the annual Buchbinderlehrling binding competition for apprentices
From Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 12, Nr 5,1938.

Again, years went by teaching and binding, giving lectures about art and technical nuances, all things that go along with being a professor in one’s métier. On the side, Franz and the Bone Folder created more than two-hundred fine bindings together, each unique, valuable, and highly regarded.

Binding by Franz Weiße, on Jesus und Johannes, 1930.
From Otto Fröde, Franz Weisse, 1956.

During those sessions in the workshop, there were many occasions when the students used the Meister’s tools, thinking they would be able to create better work than if they used their own. The Meister let them believe that, and even let them use his bone folders so that these became used to the hands of others. This scared the wise Bone Folder. “If you keep on like this you won’t have any tools soon. Don’t ever let me leave your hands!” Franz replied, “oh, let them think my tools are theirs and that they can create better work with them than with their own tools. Everyone strives to improve...” “Well said,” said the Bone Folder, “but not with your tools…” “My dear Bone Folder,” said Franz, “that’s true, but apparently my tools can bring rewards to others. That’s why I let them go like that, just as they once came to me.”

Professor Franz Weiße observing his student Martin Lehmann gold tooling by hand.
Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 11, Nr 11, 1938.

Soon after, the wise Bone Folder itself disappeared without a trace. This made the Meister very sad and depressed, so much so that he never wanted to create another masterpiece. He didn’t even want to teach anymore. His treasure had gotten away from him, and with it his love of his fine craft. The Meister had become old and even superstitious. His hair grayed, his vision deteriorated so that he saw his gilt lines double, and his hands shook when he held the type-holder over the stove.. He rubbed his hands over his eyes and dreamt that the wise Bone Folder was still in his pocket where it had always rested. In his dream it spoke to his heart, “don’t be sad great Meister. You shared your talents before they could leave you, and your generosity was so great that you even let me go. Now, I still shape beautiful headcaps, but in someone else’s gentle hands. You still live though. Rise up, and continue to tell all the stories you told me. Then I will be with you in spirit and can help you. Your pen is your new tool now.”

This made the Meister perk up. Once again, the wise Bone Folder was right. Everyone has something to share and pass on. Meister Franz’s gifts will enable others to sustain themselves. He will keep nothing to himself until he closes his eyes for the last time, and then he will go, satisfied to have lived for his art and craft, and those that practice it.

[Do you still have your first bone folder? Did it help guide you in your career? Was it as wise and snarky?]

My first bone folders: The top given to me when I started in this field as a
work-study student at Conservation and Preservation at Johns Hopkins University Library in 1981.
The bottom when I began my apprenticeship at the Kunstbuchbinderei Dietmar Klein in Gelsenkirchen, Germany in 1985.

Franz Weiße (1878-1952) was one of the most noted German binders of the first half of the 20th century. He grew up as the son of a policeman and began his apprenticeship at age 14 as was traditional. According to Fröde (Franz Weisse, 1952) and the obituary that appeared in Das Falzbein (Vol 5, Nr. 3, 1952), his apprenticeship took place in a trade bindery in which boxes of all sorts and picture framing were part of the daily flow of work in addition to binding of hymnals, notebooks, and the like. When not working on what needed to be done, he was encouraged to follow his own interests including working on his own designs, drawing, binding, where he was described as willful. Following his apprenticeship he spent his journeyman years wandering throughout Germany to work in a wide variety of binderies, many of them referenced in his "fairy tale." His first attempt at enrolling in an arts & crafts school did not go well as they pushed a curriculum based on technical proficiency and traditional design, whereas he was more innovative, also described as willful. His relationship with Hans Dannhorn who taught finishing there grew into a friendship over the years and opened doors for him, at Hübel & Denck in Leipzig where he worked as a fine binder in their extra-binding division. During this time, he was drawn to the ideals of the English arts & crafts movement as exemplified by William Morris. In 1903, he became teacher at the school in [Wuppertal] Elberfeld where he taught all levels of binding, but also himself took classes in drawing to further develop his skills. His favorite students were those more "mature" ones working towards their Meister, something that had again become required in order to open one's own bindery and train apprentices. Weiße it is revealed never formally completed his apprenticeship or journeyman certificates...

In 1905, he followed the director of the school in Elberfeld to Hamburg that was in the process of reorganizing its arts & crafts school, and Weiße became the chair of the bookbinding program. He was to remain their until 1942 when he retired... During his tenure, he developed what became to be known as the Hamburg style and among his students were Ignatz Wiemeler (who taught for those in US Fritz Eberhardt, Gerhard Gerlach, and Kurt Londenberg, the latter teacher of Frank Mowery among others) and Heinrich Lüers were his students among other, and many went on to lead the bookbinding programs, with Wiemeler Weiße's successor in Hamburg and Lüers in Magdeburg. The latter went on to write one of the most comprehensive binding manuals in the German tradition.

In addition to teaching, Weiße was a founding member of the Meister der Einbandkunst (along with his friend and mentor Dannhorn among others) and was co-editor of Der Buchbinderlehrling, THE journal for bookbinding apprentices where he wrote under his own name and the pseudonym Schlaghammer ([paper]-beating hammer, something he had to learn to do as an apprentice). In 1942 he became co-editor of Das Deutsche Buchbinderhandwerk, successor to the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. He was also the author of several manuals on marbling, including Die Kunst des Marmorierens oder Die Herstellung von Buchbinder-Buntpapieren mit Wasserfarben auf schleimhaltigen Grund (1940), translated as The Art of Marbling by Richard J.Wolfe (Bird & Bull, 1980),& Mein Kampf mit der Ochsengalle (My Struggle with Oxgall, 1938), and Der Handvergolder im Tageswerken und Kunstschaffen (The Finisher in Daily Work and While Creating Art, 1951).

Like all binders and teachers of his era, Weiße, Lüers, Wagner, Dorfner ... worked in a system where the schools and organizations of all kind were ideologically controlled by the Nazi party to include the indoctrination of students, including expressing that ideology through their work. In his introduction to The Art of Marbling Wolfe speaks to that aspect as well. Der Buchbinderlehrling was certainly full of this indoctrination as the trade-schools were charged with developing well rounded individuals including subjects like "social studies" beyond the specific trade. Published in 1942, I expected "Das kluge Falzbein" (The Wise Bone Folder) to include such references, but was pleasantly pleased that it did not. Biographies of binders such as Dorfner and Weiße who were active during this time, most written in the 1950s, do not address this period except in the most general terms and often with references to bombed-out workshops, and certainly do include images of works expressing Nazi ideology. How strongly individuals identified with this ideology is not always discernible. It could have been accommodation in order to feed a family, or pure opportunism and careerism. Otto Dorfner is interesting in this regard as he was one of the favorites (see also Hitler's Bookbinder about Frieda Thiersch), stayed in Weimar in the Soviet Occupations Zone / DDR after the war, and continued to serve his masters with his work. Lüers' Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders appeared in multiple editions both during and after, and Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindemeister (1941) published by the Reichsinnungsverband des Buchbinderhandwerks gives a sense of this. It is interesting to see how those references were expunged in post-war editions. Another example was Zechlin's Soldaten Werkbuch für Freizeit und Genesung (1943), in which the title was changed on the binding only to Jungens... More towards bottom here.

A thank you to Karen Hanmer for her contributions to making my translation of the tale better.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ernst Collin über/about E.A. Enders, Leipzig - München

Ich liebe es wenn verschiedene Themen hier zusammen kommen wie in dem Beitrag in dem Ernst Collin über die "Zukunft unserer Kriegsbeschädigten" schrieb. In diesem Fall, eine Rezension geschrieben als "ec." über Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft: Die Großbuchbinderei E.A. Enders, Leipzig auf Seite 658 vom Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. (Bd. 44, Nr. 28, 1929).

I love it when different threads come together such as with a previous post in which Ernst Collin wrote about rehabilitation for wounded veterans. In this case, finding a review of Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft: Die Großbuchbinderei E.A. Enders, Leipzig written as "ec." on page 658 of the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. (Vol. 44, Nr. 28, 1929).

Über die Sonderabteilung für Handeinbände schrieb Ernst Collin, "Wie die Mehrzahl der führenden Leipziger Großbuchbindereien, so verfügt auch die Firma E.A. Enders über eine Sonderabteilung für Handeinbände. Mit dieser Abteilung wird die handwerkliche Tradition des Unternehmens gewahrt. Abbildungen von Handeinbänden zumeist nach Entwürfen von H. Hußmann sind den Darlegungen über die Enderssche Werkstätte beigegeben: Eine moderne Stilsprache, die aus traditioneller Vornehmheit wichtige Anregungen geschöpft hat, ist das Kennzeichen dieser Einbände..."

About the extra-binding department, Ernst Collin wrote that like most of the large trade binderies in Leipzig, E.A. Enders also had such a department. These departments preserved the handbinding roots of what had become very large binderies. Depicted bindings in the book were largely designed by H. Hußman and represent the Enders aesthetic of a modern style that draws on traditional noblesse is the hallmark of their bindings.

Über die Sonderabteilung
About the extra-binding department

Einband von Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft
Cover of Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft

Beispiel der Arbeiten der Sonder-Abteilung
An example of the work of the Extra-Binding department

Buchstadt | City of the Book, Leipzig, 1913

1913 war Leipzig das Zentrum des deutschen Buchhandels und Verlagswesens. Zu den prominenten Unternehmen der Stadt gehörten Verlage wie F. A. Brockhaus, Reclam oder Breitkopf & Härtel. Hier wurden der Duden, Meyers Konversationslexikon und 90 Prozent der weltweiten Notenproduktion gedruckt. Nun zeigt eine digitale Karte, wie flächendeckend das Gesicht der Stadt damals vom Buchgewerbe geprägt war.

 Für die digitale Buchgewerbekarte wurden insgesamt 2.200 Firmenstandorte in einer Datenbank erfasst und nach Gewerbetypen sortiert. Dazu kamen die heutigen Entsprechungen der historischen Adressen und die Geokoordinaten. Alles zusammen wurde in eine digitale Karte mit historischem Overlay überführt.

 Die digitale Buchgewerbekarte ist ein Kooperationsprojekt zwischen dem Deutschen Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek in Leipzig und dem Amt für Geoinformation und Bodenordnung der Stadt Leipzig.

In 1913 Leipzig was the center of publishing, book production, and publishing. Among the most prominent business were publishers like F.A. Brockhaus, Reclam, or  Breitkopf & Härtel. The Duden, Meyers Konversationslexikon, and 90% of sheetmusic and scores worldwide were printed here. Now, an interactive digital map shows how widely distributed the book trade was in Leipzig.

2,200 businesses were captured and coded by type, historic addresses overlaid onto a map from 1913 using GIS to create the map.

The map is the result of a cooperative project between the German Books and Writing of the German National Library and the Office for Geoinformation and Planning of the City of Leipzig. 
[Unfortunately for non-German speakers, the map and navigational elements are only in German]

Auf Karte klicken für Großansicht
Click on map to enlarge

Leipzig war auch Heimatstadt der BUGRA, der damals weltweit größten Buchmesse die ein Höhepunkt von 1914 war. Ernst Collin schrieb mehrere Aufsätze und Artikel zum Thema. Siehe auch 100 Jahre Bugra.

Leipzig was also home to the BUGRA, then the largest tradeshow for the book trades that was the highpoint of 1914. Ernst Collin wrote numerous articles about the BUGRA.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Binding Designs By Paul Kersten and Paul Klein

German binding manuals and related books of the first third of the 20th century often featured ideas and designs for bindings to instruct and to serve as a source of inspiration. For examples see Designing Spines and Paul Kersten's Decorative Leather Work.

Paul Kersten's (1865-1943) and Paul Klein's (1894-1968) Vierzig neuzeitliche Entwürfe für künstlerische Bucheinbände (Halle: Verlag Wilhelm Knapp, 1928) featured 20 designs each by two masters of the craft, noted teachers, and fine binders who both helped define design in the field. The "book" was issued in the form of plates printed on heavier newsprint-like paper in a wrapper. The table of contents indicated the finishing technique, e.g. blind or gold. The binding designs were printed on very thin glossy paper. The wrapper and layout were designed by Paul Klein. My copy of the text had been bound by attaching the (now rather brittle) plates to stubs and over-trimming the textblock. I'll blame the apprentice. A copy as issued (below) is/was available from my favorite dealer in Germany via eBay It is also available in facsimile.

Kersten who studied with Georg Collin (at W. Collin) was the teacher of  notable students including Otto Dorfner and Otto Pfaff, both of who Collin also wrote about in articles.others). He followed Maria Lühr as teacher at Lette Verein, and was recognized as one of the greatest finishers of his generation, and was the subject of a Festschrift written by Ernst Collin. In 1904, Kersten also published Moderne Entwürfe künstlerischer Bucheinbände, The book was serialized in 6 installments of loose plates, much like the book depicted below.

Paul Klein began his studies and apprenticeship at the Bauhaus (1921-22) under Dorfner where he led the binding workshop, and continued on with Dorfner as a journeyman after Dorfner left the Bauhaus. He later led the hand-binding division of Th. Knaur in Leipzig (a large firm) and subsequently went to work as a binder and designer at Hübel & Denck, also in Leipzig. According to Otto Dorfner: Zwischen van de Velde und Bauhaus (Halle/Weimar, 1989) edited by Mechtild Lobisch Kleins trail ends in the mid-thirties in Munich where he is said to have worked for a publisher.

As issued, image from Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas

Wrapper by Paul Klein

Design in gold Paul Kersten

Design in blind by Paul Kersten

Design in blind by Paul Kersten

Design in blind by Paul Kersten

Design in gold by Paul Klein

Design in blind by Paul Klein

Design in gold by Paul Klein

Design in gold by Paul Klein

More images from the book can be found via Europeana, here and here.

Below some actual bindings by Kersten and Klein from the Archiv für Buchbinderei, 1928.

Bindings by Paul Kersten, member of the Jakob-Krause-Bund (J.K.B.)

Bindings by Paul Klein, member of the Jakob-Krause-Bund (J.K.B.)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Maria Lühr, erste deutsche Buchbindermeisterin

In Frauen als Buchbinder | Women as Bookbinders teilte ich einen Artikel aus einer unbekannten Zeitschrift mit dem Titel "Beim weiblichen Buchbindermeister" und mit Bildern einer Werkstatt in der nur Frauen ausgebildet und angestellt wurden. Kurz danach fand ich Bilder online die stechende Ähnlichkeiten hatten - die Werkbank, der Leimtopf, und im Hintergrund Bilder... am selben Platz hingen. Die Metadaten dazu gaben an, daß diese von einer Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski für die Süddeutsche Zeitung (München) in der Werkstatt von Maria Lühr in Berlin aufgenommen wurden. Von Debschitz zog 1921 von München nach Berlin...


Aus "Beim weiblichen Buchbindermeister"

Aus "Beim weiblichen Buchbindermeister"


In der Werkstatt von Maria Lühr.
Aufnahme von Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski für die Süddeutsche Zeitung (München)

Und hier noch zwei aus der Serie

In der Werkstatt von Maria Lühr.
Aufnahme von Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski für die Süddeutsche Zeitung (München)

In der Werkstatt von Maria Lühr.
Aufnahme von Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski für die Süddeutsche Zeitung (München)

Maria Lühr (geb 1874) kam auf Umwegen aus Holstein nach Berlin wo sie beim 1866 gegründeten Lette-Verein "zur Förderung der Erwerbsfähigkeit des weiblichen Geschlechts" in der Kunststickerei anfing. Laut Weiße in seinem Aufsatz im AAB (1949) sagte sie, daß sie in Richtung Handbuchbinderei gelenkt wurde da der Lette Verein eine Werkstatt für Buchbinderei einrichten wollte. So lernte sie zuerst bei W. Collin der sich stark dafür beim Hof und Kaiserin Friedrich einsetzte so, daß sie als Frau überhaupt eine Ausbildung machen konnte. Von dort zog es sie dann zu Cobden-Sanderson in England um ein Jahr dort zu lernen, und kam danach zurück um nach einem zwischen-Aufenthalt in Düsseldorf bei Wilhelm Rauch in Hamburg die Lehrzeit mit dem Gesellenbrief zu beenden. Ein Jahr später machte sie 1902 in Berlin die Meisterprüfung. Ihre Zeit bei Cobden-Sanderson beschrieb sie ausführlich in einem Aufsatz der 1930 im Buchbinderlehrling erschien.

Im Aufsatz beschrieb sie wie sie zu der Werkstatt von Cobden-Sanderson kam, ihre ersten Eindrücke, die Persönlichkeiten, unter ihnen Ihrer Mitschülerinnen, 3-4 Amerikanerinnen, und die Werkstatt und Arbeiten. Es war eine Zeit die sie sehr geprägt hat. Als Cobden-Sanderson 1910 Lühr im Lette-Verein besuchte war er erfreut "als er sein Bild auf ihrem Schreibtisch stehen fand." Bis zum Ausbruch des Krieges 1914 waren die zwei im Briefwechsel, danach nicht mehr...

Danach bildete sich weiter fort, gründete 1902 die Buchbinderwerkstatt im Lette Verein, daß sie bis 1913 leitete als sie ihre eigene Werkstatt am Kurfürstendamm (225b) in Berlin eröffnete. Paul Kersten war dort ihr Nachfolger.

Der Artikel "Buchbinderinnen" (Zeitschrift u. Datum unbekannt) beschreibt die Buchbinderei als Beruf für Frauen, erwähnt den Lette-Verein und war von dem Bild unten begleitet. Es könnte rechts Maria Lühr sein.

Maria Lühr (r)?

In einem Aufsatz in Die Kunstwelt: deutsche Zeitschrift für die bildende Kunst — 3.1913-1914 wurde Lühr als "eine moderne Buchbinderin" beschrieben mit Details zu dem Unterricht den sie im Lette-Verein anbot.

"Eine moderne Buchbinderin"
Die Kunstwelt: deutsche Zeitschrift für die bildende Kunst — 3.1913-1914

 Der Artikel endet mit:
So ist Maria Lühr eine der nicht zahlreichen Frauen, die auf der Grundlage eines sicheren und gründlichen Wissens und Könnens wirklich befähigt sind, den Kampf mit dem Leben und mit der Konkurrenz erfolgreich aufzunehmen. 
Wenn man den Unterschied beachtet, der zwischen den Büchern besteht, die Fräulein Lühr 1912 in der Ausstellung: 'die Frau in Haus und Beruf' ausstellte und denen, die sie jetzt auf die 'Bugra' gebracht hat, so sieht man eine erstaunliche Entwicklung ihrer künstlerischen Leistungsfähigkeit - in technischer Beziehung hat sie schon immer Vollendetes geleistet - und man muß herzliche Freude darüber empfinden, daß ihr in ihrer nunmehrigen Selbständigkeit die Möglichkeit gegeben ist, sich in ihrem Können mehr und mehr zu entfalten.
Sie war Gründungsmitglied de Jakob-Krause-Bundes, stellte mit dem aus, z.B. der 1921er Ausstellung Deutsche Einbandkunst, und wechselte dann zu den Meistern der Einbandkunst.

Aus dem Jüdischenadressbuch, 1929-30 (111)
Lühr war die Tochter eines evangelischen Pastors

Nebenbei, war W. Collin zu dem Zeitpunkt (1930) unter der Leitung von Gertrude Collin in der Kurfürstenstr 99a angesiedelt.

Aus dem Adressbuch für Berlin, 1930

1938 feierte sie 25. Geschäftsjubilaeum und 50 Jahre als Buchbinderin.

Zu Weiße sagte sie 1949, daß sie und die Werkstatt "Gewissermaßen von Bomben verschont blieben" und, daß sie mit Ihrer "treuen Mitarbeiterin  Fraulein [Helene] von Stolzenberg an praktischen Aufträgen arbeitete, lehrte und schuftete. Ehrenvolle Arbeiten wurden erledigt. Und der Kampf um das liebe Brot ist uns Frauen so gut bekannt wie den Männern, unseren verehrten Herrn Meistern!" Laut Weiße, "da beißt die Maus keinen Faden ab." Von Stolzenberg bildete sie selbst zur Meisterin aus.

In dem Artikel sprach sie auch über das "Sterben von 'Schwestern' an Unterernährung und Kälte. Licht auf Stunden, wo man schlafen müßte. Arbeiten sind verlagert, Kunsteinbände auf Nimmerwiedersehen verloren... Aufträge kommen langsame; weiter heraus geschoben als die Lieferung ist die Bezahlung. Ohne Glanz ein Ende? Nein wir Raffen uns Auf! Und hier sage ich: "Es ist nicht gut, dass der 'alte' Mensch allein sei."

Sorgen um die Nachfolge machte sich Lühr oft, auch um die eigene Einsamkeit und daß alleine Alt werden wie spätere Artikel im AAB schilderten. Weiße endete seinen Artikel mit:
Ich lese im Bericht von 1912 dieses 'Lette-Verein' – Institutes, das ja lange schon seine Tore geschlossen hat, von einer Diskussion über die handwerksmäßige Ausbildung der Frau: 'Wenn mal die Buchbinderei Werkstätten weibliche Lehrlinge wie männliche aufnehmen, hat die Werkstätte des Lette-Verein ihre Mission erfüllt und kann ihre Tore Schliessen!' – Mithin haben wir jenes Institute als den Anreger anzusehen, auch Frauen in unseren Handwerksberuf aufzunehmen. – Pionier? – Maria Lühr!  –
In "Die Frau im Buchbinderhandwerk" beschrieb Lühr 1937 ihren Werdegang, die Lage der Buchbinderei, daß sie versuchte 1918 einen Bund deutscher weiblicher Buchbindermeister zu gründen, aber die Zahlen waren zu gering und die Wirtschaftslage zu heikel, so daß der Bund 1923 aufgelöst wurde. Sie beschrieb auch die Lage der Frauen im Buchbindeberuf mit Statistiken. Zu ihrer Tätigkeit beim Lette-Verein und als selbständige, ausbildende Meisterin schrieb sie, daß:
Andere mehr oder weniger begabte Lehrlinge folgten, die alle ihre Gesellenprüfung mit gutem Erfolg ablegten. Einige machten sich nach späterer Meisterprüfung selbständig, andere heirateten Buchbindermeister und stehen ihren Männern im Erwerbsleben fleißig bei, noch andere gaben bei ihrer Heirat den Beruf auf. — Da die männlichen Buchbindermeister sahen, daß die Frauen es mit ihrem Beruf ernst nahmen, scheuten sie sich auch nicht mehr, weibliche Lehrlinge einzustellen, und so ist es für die Frauen heute viel einfacher, gründliche Kenntnisse in der Buchbinderei zu erwerben wie zu der Zeit, als ich damit begann.
Die Buchbinderwerkstatt des Lette-Vereins schloß am September 1937 die BuchbinderwerkstattDer Lette-Verein ist seit 1944 eine "Stiftung des öffentlichen Rechts umgewandelt. Seit 1982 sind die Schulen des Lette-Vereins koedukativ." 

Maria Lühr starb 1969.

Aus Weiße, Franz - Maria Lühr in Berlin 65 Jahre Meisterin,
Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, Vol 62, Nr 3, 1949.

So wie Paul Adams Praktischen Arbeiten des Buchbinders als Practical Bookbinding ins Englische übersetzt wurde, wurde auch Douglas Cockerells Bookbinding and the Care of Books 1902 von Felix Hübel ins Deutsche übersetzt als Der Bucheinband und die Pflege des Buches. Dies wurde 1925 aufgearbeitet von Lühr die auch das Vorwort schrieb:
Es hat mir viel Freude gemacht, dieses Buch durchzuarbeiten. Ich benutzte dazu die 1. Übersetzung und den englischen Text, der 1920 in 4. Auflage in erweitertem Umfange erschienen ist. Es wurde mir leicht, mich in die Arbeitsweise des Herrn D. Cockerell hineinzufinden, da ich gleich ihm Schüler Cobden Sandersons bin. Ich konnte dadurch manchen Arbeitsvorgang berichtigen und ergänzen, ohne von dem Urtext abzuweichen.
Manche Arbeitsweise ist für unsern praktischen Werkstattsgebrauch etwas zu umständlich, doch kann diese ja jeder Meister nach den Verhältnissen abändern. Die ganze Herstellung und Behandlung des Buches ist auf guter alter Handwerksart aufgebaut und es wäre zu wünschen, daß die Handarbeit des Handwerkers immer mehr in Ehren käme.

Der Bucheinband und die Pflege des Buches.

Vorwort von Lühr zu Der Bucheinband und die Pflege des Buches.

Einen Einband von Lühr an dieser Ausgabe gibt es in der Sammlung Max Hettler zu sehen.

Lühr schreib auch andere Aufsätze für den Buchbinderlehrling über "Die Herstellung selbstgefertigter Überzugpapiere" und "Die Herstellung des Papiers in alter und neuer Zeit" (1929).

Beilage zu "Die Herstellung selbstgefertigter Überzugpapiere (Buntpapiere),
A. Wasser- oder Oelpapiere"

Zum Leben und Schaffen Maria Lührs u. Frauen als Buchbinder

Monday, July 2, 2018

Frauen als Buchbinder | Women as Bookbinders

"Beim weiblichen Buchbindermeister"
​Eine undatierte [1920er] Photoserie in einer nicht identifizierten Zeitschrift bei einer unbekannten Buchbinderei die von einer Buchbindemeisterin betrieben wurde, und wo nur Frauen als Gesellinnen und Lehrlingen arbeiteten. Auf der Rückseite Werbung für Schnittmuster in denen ein Postfach in Leipzig erwähnt wird, was aber nichts zu sagen hat was den Ort der Zeitschrift betrifft.​

"At the female Master bookbinders" 
An undated [1920s] photo series taken for an unknown periodical at an unidentified woman-owned bindery that only employed and apprenticed women. On the verso, fashion patterns for "older" women that reference a post office box in Leipzig, which doesn't have to mean anything.

Doppelseite mit Beschreibung in der Mitte
Double-page spread with description in the center

Beschreibung der Bilder | Description of Photos

Werbung auf der Rückseite
Advertising from verso
Werbung auf der Rückseite
Advertising from verso

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Beachtenswerte Fachschriften

Aus Braunwarth & Lüthkes 1928er Katalog... Keiner dieser Titel darf in einer zünftigen Fachbibliothek fehlen.

Beachtenswerte Fachschriften

  • Die einfachen handwerksmäßigen Buchbinderarbeiten
  • Die Kunst des Blinddrucks, der Handvergoldung und der Ledermosaik
  • Die Kunst des Entwerfens
  • Leitfaden für die Gesellen und Meisterprüfung der Buchbinder. 3. Auflage
  • Das Handvergolden, der Blinddruck und die Lederauflage
  • Das Marmorieren des Buchbinders auf Schleimgrund im Oel- und K!eisterverfahren. 2. Auflage
  • Der Bucheinband, ein Handbuch für Buchbinder und Büchersammler
  • Deutsche Einbandkunst im ersten Jahrzehnt des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts
Brade's Illustriertes Buchbinderbuch. Lehr- und Handbuch der gesamten Buchbinderei und aller in dieses Fach einschlagenden Techniken. Gänzlich umgearbeitet von Paul Kersten. 8. Auflage

Cockerell, Der Bucheinband und die Pflege des Buches. 2. Auflage

  • Der Preßbengel (ein Gesprächsbüchlein zwischen Bücherfreund und Buchbinder) Geb.
  • Paul Kersten (Biographie), Pappband (1 bis 400 St.) Mk 8.75, Büttenausgabe (50 St.)

Eschner, Der Buchbinder. Lehr- und Lern-Buch für Fach-Fortbildungs-Schulen und zum Selbstunterricht

Franke, Die Buchbinderei, Anleitung zur Herstellung sämtlicher Buchbinderarbeiten

  • Anleitungen und Vorlagen zum Lederschnitt
  • Mustertafeln für Lederschnitt
  • Die Praxis der Pappenverarbeitung. Teil I
  • Die Praxis der Pappenverarbeitung. Teil II: Pappenverarbeitung und Papiermache
  • Die Papierprägetechnik. Praktisches Handbuch für die gesamte Papierprägetechnik. 2. Auflage Geheftet
  • Die Kartonnagen-Fabrikation. Praktisches Handbuch für die gesamte Kartonnagenfabrikation. 2. Aufl. Geh.
  • Kalkulations-Leitfaden für die gesamte Kartonnagen-Industrie mit praktischen Kalkulationsmustern
  • Praktische Winke zur HersteHung von Papier- und Druckerzeugnissen. Band I. Karr..
  • Der Druckereibuchbinder (Bd. II der Praktischen Winke zur Herstellung von Papier- und Druck-erzeugnissen)
  • Der exakte Bucheinband. 4. Auflage
  • Leitfaden für Buchbinder
  • Das Färben und Marmorieren von Leder
  • Die Marmorierkunst, Anleitung zum Marmorieren
  • Der Buchbinderlehrling
  • Moderne Entwürfe für Bucheinbände (1906)
  • Bd. I: Vorlagen für Künstler. Lederbände (Je in Mappe mit losen Tafeln.)
  • Bd. II: Vorlagen für Ganzleinenbände
  • Verzierungstechniken des Bucheinbandes (Beschreibung der Verzierungstechniken) Geb.

Kolbe, Preisberechner (Kalkulations-Formulare)

Kraft, Schriftsatz und Buchdruck für Buchbinder

Leo's Buchbinder-Taschenkalender. In Kaliko gebunden

Lohse, Die Technik des Kontobucheinbandes im Handwerks- und Fabrikbetrieb

März, Handvergolden in der Buchbinderei, im Lederwaren- und Galanteriefach,
Präparate für Hand- und Preßvergoldung (Rezepte für Vollgrund, Halbgrund und Beizen)

  • Die Arbeiten an der Vergoldepresse
  • Preistarif über Buchbindereiarbeiten (sogenannter Bundestarif) (Ausgabe 1925). Neu bearbeitet
  • Preisverzeichnis für Partie-Arbeiten (bearbeitet vom Verein Stuttgarter Buchbindereibesitzer, in Gemeinschaft mit der Bucbbinder-Zwangs-Innung Stuttgart)
  • Preis und Berechnungsmethoden für den Einrahmer- und Vergolderberuf

Schaupp, Der Halbfranzband

Sonntag, Die Faltschachtel

Sprengel, Preistabelle für Bildereinrahmungen

Stephen, Die moderne Großbuchbinderei

Weiße, Das Ornament des Buchbinders. Heft I

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bookbinding and Ideology

On the Print blog (3/10/17), Steven Heller wrote a piece titled "Normalized Letterheads":
By 1936 the Nazis were firmly in place in all aspects of government, society and culture. Gleichschaltung was the term for standardizing or normalizing the Nazi aberration. It meant that every aspect of the Third Reich followed the dictates of the ideological wing of the state and party. These innocent-looking letterheads, void of political references, were examples of that Gleichschaltung imposed on the design and printing industries.
This Gleichschaltung was applied uniformly across all media, trades, social organizations, ..., aligning and subordinating all to the dictates of the state in all regards. Indoctrination started in the schools, youth organizations, and trade schools that all apprentices attended. Der Buchbinderlehrling (The Bookbinding Apprentice) was the journal for apprentices with subjects included social studies, math, and science as they related to binding. This also included paper making, leather tanning and parchment making, cloth, and in-depth engineering of bookbinding machines. During its run from 1927-1943 one is struck by how insidiously this Gleichschaltung progressed in the years after 1933, with the apprentices thoroughly indoctrinated so that there was no longer any difference between the trade and ideology. In the same vein the teachers at the trade schools/art academies were  required to be party members, especially if civil servants, joining either out of conviction or expedience in some sort of Faustian bargain...

Typography for book titles from Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol. 9, Nr. 7, 1935.

While some of title designs may seem "innocent looking," this ideological aesthetic was applied not only to bindings, but also presentation materials, desk accessories, just about everything bookbinders made forcefully, with many examples in the trade literature of the time. Prominent among these was Hitler's Mein Kampf.

Under the pseudonym “Nicolli,” Ernst Collin wrote in Der Buchbinderlehrling what can best be described as a tragic review of 1933’s national bookbinding competition on Hitler’s Mein Kampf. He wrote that in binding this book the German bookbinding trade could demonstrate its commitment to Hitler and to taking on the challenges and demands that lay ahead. The trades, publishing, social organizations, and just about every other aspect of life were quickly brought to reflect the party line under “Gleichschaltung.” As a “servant” of the arts and crafts, bookbinding was given a special standing, and binding Mein Kampf in a dignified and appropriate manner was a way to demonstrate this standing. To demonstrate the new collective mindset, the names of none of the participants or winners were mentioned. Stating that this was not the place to describe individual bindings, he went on to write that given the nature and importance of the book it was clear that many of the bindings would include the black, white, and red of Imperial Germany and the Third Reich, with the swastika a key element. However, Ernst noted also that including these elements did not make for good design that would inspire and demonstrate respect. He concluded that the book could not become a playground for overwrought designs and gimmicks, challenging binders to think about and prepare themselves for increasing amounts of this kind of work. ([Nicolli]. “Ein Zeitgemäßer Wettbewerb.” Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol. 7, Nr. 12, 1933. (167-168))

While no images from the 1933 bookbinding competition were found in Der Buchbinderlehrling, below two, one by an Martin Lehmann, an apprentice/student of Franz Weiße, and one by a master and one of the leading teachers of the day (Professors at art academies and trade schools), Hugo Wagner.

Martin Lehmann's apprentice/student binding on Mein Kampf.
From Der Buchbinderlehrling. Vol. 10, Nr. 6, 1937.
In the article the image accompanied he described his motivations and design choices a "flag red" leather for the  binding, white type, and black for the eagle, all based on the Nazi flag. About the eagle he wrote that it was based on the Luftwaffe insignia because it was more "dainty," yet aggressive and full of life, ready to take up the fight against all that is false...

Martin Lehmann with Franz Weiße
From Der Buchbinderlehrling. Vol. 11, Nr.11, 1938.

Binding by Hugo F. Wagner, Breslau, on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as a teacher.
From Der Buchbinderlehrling. Vol. 10, Nr. 12, 1937.

Bindings by Hugo Wagner from Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindemeister (1941)

Otto Dorfner, Weimar, was another one of the leading teachers during this time, and will be featured in due time, also because he remained in the Soviet occupation zone (the DDR) after the war and continued working. One of Germany's greatest design binders, he studied under Paul Kersten, founded his school in Weimar, taught at the Bauhaus, and elsewhere, helped found the Meister der Einbandkunst... Below another binding on Mein Kampf by one of his students, Willi Fischer.

Binding by Dorfner student Willi Fischer on Mein Kampf.
From the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, Nr. 27, 1936.

Another teacher was Heinrich Lüers, Magdeburg, best known for Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders that appeared in several editions, including one postwar with a new introduction by his Gustav Moessner. It is very interesting to compare the editions, especially as the politically charged ones have been scrubbed out. Lüers also edited Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindemeister (1941) for the Reichsinnungsverband des Buchbinderhandwerks (the national bookbinding guild), a pamphlet produced by the BDBI describing the trade and requirements designed to attract new apprentices and others. Like Lüer's book, this too was republished after the war in a sanitized edition. After all, why waste an otherwise significant text, and Das Fachwissen is one of the best of its genre and incredibly comprehensive.

Lüers concluded his pamphlet by stating that during the (still rather young) war, bookbinding had proven itself to a secure trade, and able to withstand any crisis and serve the German people. He ended with a quote by Hitler praising the German trades...

Below, Franz Weiße (Wiemeler's teacher), Erhard Klette, Otto Dorfner, and Hugo Wagner jurying the 1938 apprentice competition. Dorfner and Wagner appear to be wearing party insignia on cravat and lapel, and Klette was an influential publisher in the field, including the Archiv für Buchbinderei and the Jahrbuch der Einbandkunst.

Franz Weiße, Erhard Klette, Otto Dorfner, and Hugo Wagner jurying the 1938 apprentice competition.
From Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol. 12, Nr. 5,1938.

See also this post about Frieda Thiersch's similar work during this period, "Hitler's Bookbinder." Her biography, Frieda Thiersch und ihre Handbuchbinderei (1968), by Fritz Krinitz mentions little and illustrates even less of her work from this period.

So, imagine if this scenario were to return... No, let's not go there.