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Exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library in Leipzig marking the presentation of the Gutenberg Prize of the City of Leipzig to Jan Philipp Reemtsma

Press release:  18.6.2015

The German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library is presenting a small exhibition from 27 June 2015 until 21 February 2016 to coincide with the presentation of the Gutenberg Prize of the City of Leipzig. The exhibition will feature books which have been supported, financed, initiated, supervised, edited or written by Jan Philipp Reemtsma.

The main focus of the exhibition will be on the typographers and book designers - in particular Friedrich Forssman, Wilfried Gandras, Franz Greno and Urs Jakob - who gave the texts their unique appearance, clothing the thoughts contained in them through the aesthetic use of typography, type areas, book covers and jackets. What they produced represents a multiform contribution to book culture in Germany at the end of the 20th and the start of the 21st century.

On 26 June 2015 Jan Philipp Reemtsma, the patron, academic, author and editor, collector and preserver of literary estates (especially of literature and philosophy), and the initiator of text editions and memorial sites, will be honoured at the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library in Leipzig for the major editions he has been instrumental in publishing.

The Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur founded by Jan Philipp Reemtsma in 1984, together with the older Arno Schmidt Stiftung and the Stiftung Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung are the instruments which Jan Philipp Reemtsma has used to launch a unique cultural, academic and political research community in the Federal Republic of Germany.

His judiciously chosen support decides in many cases over the survival or otherwise of historical and literary editions - and therefore over the continued existence of texts. Recent beneficiaries of his support include an edition of works by Jean Améry (2004-2008), the diaries, letters and writings of Ferdinand Beneke (since 2012) or the edition of the complete works of the German-American writer Hannah Arendt currently in preparation (since 2013).

The major editions of writers ranging from Christoph Martin Wieland, Arno Schmidt and Theodor W. Adorno to Walter Benjamin meet very high graphic, typographic and book-design standards. They represent vivid signs and impressive examples of a book culture which the Saxon publisher Georg Joachim Göschen created the mould for at the turn of the 18th/19th century. Where could be better than Leipzig - the spiritual home of typography - for remembering the old yet eternally modern art of book-making?

geschrieben – gesetzt

Exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library in Leipzig marking the presentation of the Gutenberg Prize of the City of Leipzig 2015 to Jan Philipp Reemtsma
27 June 2015 to 21 February 2016
Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 - 18:00, Thursday 10:00 - 20:00, National holidays (except Mondays) 10:00 - 18:00. Admission is free of charge.

Background

The book has shaped our culture and civilisation like no other medium. For centuries our knowledge about the world and its peoples has been stored in books. The task of the German Book and Writing Museum of the German National Library is to collect, exhibit and process evidence of book and media history. Founded in 1884 as the Deutsches Buchgewerbemuseum (German Book Trade Museum), it is the oldest museum in the world in the field of book culture, and also one of the most important with regard to the scope and quality of its stocks.

The main focus is on the book and its myriad aspects: as an ingenious invention and as the product of economic and technical processes, as a social icon and the most important vehicle of culture, as a work of art and as a censored and burned repository of ideas.

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