The years between the First and Second World Wars in Germany are famed for their cultural boom. With Berlin as its epicenter, the Weimar Republic was replete with ground-breaking literature, philosophy, and art. At the heart of this intellectual and creative hub were some of the most outstanding and forward-thinking book designs in history.
The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic assembles 1,000 of the most striking examples from this golden age of publishing activity and innovation. Based on the remarkable Jürgen and Waltrud Holstein Collection, it combines an unparalleled catalog of dust jackets, covers, and bindings with Holstein’s introduction to the leading figures and particular energy of the Weimar publishing age. Expert essays discuss the aesthetic and cultural context of the fourteen years in which a freewheeling spirit flourished, only to be trampled, burned, or driven out of the country with the rise of National Socialism.
From children’s books to novels in translation, bold designs for political literature to minimalist artist monographs, this is a dazzling line-up of typography, illustration, and graphic design at its most energetic and daring. Part reference compendium, part vintage visual feast for the eyes, this very particular cultural history is at once a testament to an irretrievable period of promise and a celebration of the ambition, inventiveness, and beauty of the book.
Editor: Jürgen Holstein
Essay contributors: Peter Nils Dorén, Frank Hermann, Christoph Stölzl
Translation: Alta L. Price