FIRST EDITION OF GRISAR’S MIT KAMERA, WITH THE BAUHAUS DESIGN OF JAN TSCHICHOLD, FEATURING 101 PHOTOGRAVURES OF 1930S EUROPE
(TSCHICHOLD, Jan) GRISAR, Erich. Mit Kamera und Schreibmaschine durch Europa. Berlin: Verlag Bücherkreis GmbH, 1932. Octavo, original half black cloth, photographic boards. $650.
First edition of this first photobook by Grisar, an exceptional record of Europe at a turning point in the early 1930s, one of the first books designed by Bauhaus typographer Jan Tschichold, who soon fled Nazi German for England, where he “revolutionized typographic conventions” with his redesign of Penguin Books, featuring 101 full-bleed photogravures.
Erich Grisar’s Mit Kamera und Schreibnmaschine durch Europa (With Camera and Typewriter Across Europe) is the first photobook by this noted working-class poet and novelist— a work that further stands out as one of the first designed by acclaimed Bauhaus typographer Jan Tschichold, whose groundbreaking manifesto Die neue Typographie (The New Typography) appeared the same year. Grisar’s often profound record of Europe in the early 1930s—of Germany, France, Eastern Europe and England uneasily shifting between tradition and modernity—is matched by Tschichold’s designs for Mit Kamera: with 101 finely screened full-bleed photogravures (four on the front and rear boards) and captions set within the images. Grisar’s moving journal and his camera record the lives of peasants in thatched cottages, homeless WWI veterans, factory workers and miners, soapbox orators, sidewalk artists, scenes of London’s Parliament and crowded Warsaw markets, and much more. Fleeing Nazi Germany not longer after this work was published, Jan Tschichold ultimately “revolutionized typographic conventions” through his wide-scale redesign of Penguin Books (Doubleday, Jan Tschichold). Text in German. As issued without dust jacket.
Text and images fine, slight edge-wear, rubbing to original boards. A scarce near-fine copy.