A “REVOLUTIONARY WAY OF SEEING”: FIRST EDITION OF BLOSSFELDT’S WUNDERGARDEN DER NATUR, 1932, WITH 120 FULL-PAGE PHOTOGRAVURES
BLOSSFELDT, Karl. Wundergarten der Natur. Berlin: Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, (1932). Folio, original gilt-stamped blue cloth, original photographic dust jacket. $3200.
First edition of the second photobook in Blossfeldt’s pivotal trilogy, with 120 extraordinary full-page photogravures of plants, transforming them into “objects of unexpected aesthetic delight.”
In 1932 Blossfeldt followed his immensely popular Urformen der Kunst (1928) with this equally influential photobook, Wundergarten der Natur (Magic Garden of Nature), and would complete his trilogy in 1942 with Wunder in der Natur. Like its predecessor, the images of Wundergarten der Natur possess a “duality of vision that is both striking and beguiling… We might be looking not at plant details but directly at architectural decorative elements… carved in wood or cast in metal” (Parr & Badger, 96). This “revolutionary way of seeing” placed Blossfeldt at the cornerstone of the New Objectivity movement, for Blossfeldt was precise in his sensitivity “to the curvilinear beauty of plants and used organic structures as the basis for his technological designs. To young German artists, his photographic studies proved the convergence of nature and art” (Roth, 10, 15). Text in German. Open Book, 106. See Roth, 48. Bookplate. Bookseller ticket.
Images quite clean and bright; book near-fine, only slight foxing to edges without affecting plates; dust jacket with expert restoration. Scarce.