SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF PAUL WOLFF’S ARBEIT!, 1937, A CELEBRATION OF INDUSTRIALISM IN THE BAUHAUS TRADITION, WITH 200 DRAMATIC PHOTOGRAVURE PLATES
WOLFF, Paul. Arbeit! Berlin: Volk und Reich; Frankfurt am Main: H. Bechold, (1937). Square quarto, original blind-stamped brown paper-covered boards, original photographic dust jacket. $850.
First edition of Wolff’s highly influential celebration of German industrialism, with 200 photogravure plates in the tradition of Renger-Patzch’s Eisen und Stahl (1931).
German photographer Paul Wolff, often working in collaboration with Alfred Tritschler, produced a number of exceptional photobooks through the 1920s and ‘30s, at a time when Constructivism and the Bauhaus influenced many with visions “of an industrialized and socialized society” that placed Germany at “the forefront of European photography” (Parr & Badger, 86). Arbeit! is particularly noted for its architectural framing and lighting of massive machinery, its striking portraits of factory workers, and is frequently aligned with works such as Lewis Hine’s Men at Work (1932) and Albert Renger-Patzsch’s Eisen und Stahl (1931). Introduction by Paul Ehrhardt. Text in German, captions in German, English and French. Without very scarce caption booklet.
Photographs quite fresh, light foxing without affecting images, tape reinforcement to spine of book; slight chipping and edge-wear, tape repair to verso and recto of scarce photographic dust jacket. An extremely good copy in rarely seen dust jacket.