The Joy of Jugendstil

Martin Gerlach started his eponymous publishing firm in 1872 in Berlin. Together with Ferdinand Schenk, he also founded the Gerlach & Schenk publishing firm. In 1901 he and Alfred Wiedling started Gerlach & Wiedling.

Gerlach used several young artists for book illustrations, including Gustav Klimt. And from 1901 through 1924, he published Jugendbücherei, a collection of 34 15×14 cm children’s books. Each volume was a gem of Jugendstil and other contemporary illustration styles illuminating fairy tales and traditional legends. The artists included Carl Otto Czeschka, Carl Fahringer, Franz Wacik, Ignaz Taschner and others. The book below is Ausgewählte gedichte von August Kopisch (1904), illustrated by Ferdinand Andri. It is a masterpiece of sly and wry Jugendstil character design.

All books are now available in reprint too.

 

Scan 7

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