Karl Blossfeldt Photos

Original prints, c. 1942

Explanation and Bio

Karl Blossfeldt’s training began with the study of industrial arts and design at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin. In 1890, along with five other students, Blossfeldt received a scholarship to work in Rome with one of the instructors, Mortiz Meurer. Meurer assigned him the job of casting models of botanical specimens, ultimately to be used by industrial craftsmen and manufacturers. In addition, the group photographed plants based on a method developed by Meurer. Blossfeldt acquired a keen interest and special talent in this task and continued to photograph plants for the remainder of his career.

Blossfeldt was eventually hired at the Kunstgewerbeschule as an assistant teacher and assistant director for modeling from plants. (During this time of the German arts and crafts movement, this was considered an important field.) He taught there for 31 years, and became Professor Emeritus in 1930. Blossfeldt used his plant photographs to demonstrate to students that the best engineering solutions for industrial design had already been anticipated in nature. His theories never really caught on.

In 1925 the photographs caught the attention of Karl Nierendorf, a banker and collector versed in Dada, Precisionism and Constructivism. Partly due to this interest in the photographs as “art,” Blossfeldt began to exhibit his works in shows and in 1928 his first book was published. The book, Urformen der Kunst, (Art Forms in Nature) was edited by Nierendorf and published by Ernst Wasmuth. The book quickly went into successive editions and was followed by additional publications including Wundergarten in der Natur (Magic Garden of Nature) in 1932 and Wunder in der Natur (Magic in Nature) in 1942.

The photogravure printing process was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. At the time, it was the finest photomechanical means for reproducing a photograph in large editions. A descendent from the printmaking process of etching, photogravures utilize a copper plate. A transparent positive of the photographic negative is created and after several stages involving potassium bichromate, exposure to light, acid etc., the etched plate is ready. The result provides an almost velvety appearance to the image.

Karl Blossfeldt died December 3, 1932, in Berlin.

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White frame, off-white acid free mat for Blossfeldt

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Karl Blossfeldt Photos<br>Original prints, c. 1942

#1 Monkshood, young shoot

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 002

#2 Cut-leaved teasel

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 003

#3 Larkspur, part of a dried leaf

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 004

#4 Cut-leaved teasel

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 005

#5 Willkomm’s saxifrage, rosette of leaves

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 006

#6 Polypody, young unrolling leaf

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 007

#7 Common male fern, young unfurling fronds

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 008

#8 Maidenhair fern, young unfurling fronds

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 009

#9 Maidenhair fern, young unfurling fronds

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 010

#10 Great masterwort

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 011

#11 Tansy phacelia, flowering panicle

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 012

#12 Tansy phacelia, flowering panicle

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 013

#13 Blue top eryngo, capitulum

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 014

#14 Grass pink

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 015

#15 Pear, branches w/ fruit

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 016

#16 Mesembryanthemum, seed capsule

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 017

#17 Grass Pink

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 018

#18 Ground clematis, seed

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 019

#19 Weeping forsythia, tip of branch w/ buds

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 020

#20 Catchfly, flower

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 021

#21 Solitary clematis, flower

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 022

#22 Monbretia, tritonia, fruiting panicle, wheat

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 023

#23 Red-veined maple, twig w/ leaf buds

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 024

#24 Roof houseleek, Cephalaria, young shoot

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 025

#25 Brass buttons, fruit

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 026

#26 Common cosmos, sepals

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 027

#27 Common hound’s tongue, fruit-bearing spike

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 028

#28 Love-in-a-mist, sepals

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 029

#29 Pyrenees monkshood

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 030

#30 Ox-eye daisy, woundwort, flower bud

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 031

#31 Scabious, empty head

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 032

#32 Tansy chrysanthemum, part of an umbel

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 033

#33 Knapweed, capitulum

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 034

#34 Horehound, seed head

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 035

#35 Fuller’s teasel, capitulum

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 036

#36 Hop-tree, branch w/ cluster of fruits

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 037

#37 Blumenbachia, closed seed capsule

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 038

#38 Scabious family, capitulum

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 039

#39 Globeflower, fruit

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 040

#40 Larkspur, dried leaves

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 041

#41 Norway spruce, tip without needles

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 042

#42 Flowering dogwood, capitulum

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 043

#43 Knapweed, capitulum

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 044

#44 Common comfrey

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 045

#45 Spurred bellflower, flower

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 046

#46 Night-flowering campion

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 047

#47 High bush blueberry

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 048

#48 Poppy, seed capsule

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 049

#49 High bush blueberry, flower

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 050

#50 Blumenbachia, open seed capsule

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 051

#51 Aizoon saxifrage, rosette of leaves

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 052

#52 Heath family, flower

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 053

#53 Canterbury bell, flower

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 054

#54 Cowslip primrose

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 055

#55 Bellflower, flower w/ petals removed

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 056

#56 Meadow sage

$160.00

Karl Blossfeldt 057

#57 Sea holly, eryngo, bracts and capitulum

$60.00

Karl Blossfeldt 058

#58 Sandwort, leaf cushion

$60.00

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