Special exhibition

Affe mit gekringeltem Schwanz und zur Seite ragenden Gliedmaßen hält eine Kokosnuss in der Hand; unten links der Titel: "Der Affe und die Kokosnuss"

27.04. – 24.09.2023


Illustrated Books and Portfolios from the Collection Wieland Schütz

The list of modern artists who have dedicated themselves to the book includes all the great names: it ranges from Manet, Picasso and Matisse to Slevogt, Kirchner and Barlach to Grieshaber, Heisig and Baselitz. They are all represented in this collection of more than 1,400 illustrated books given to the GRASSI Museum for Applied Arts by Berlin collector Wieland Schütz and form the centerpiece of this exhibition.

New printing techniques led to a revival of book design in the 19th century. Artists and printers together revived the art of illustration  – from its subordinate role as decoration it now becomes a page-filling protagonist.

The artistic means of illustration are rich: contrasting colors and fine grayscales are juxtaposed with fine flowing lines, strong angular surfaces, and narrative scenes with abstract atmospheric images.

curation: Karoline Schliemann, Dr. Olaf Thormann

Exhibition flyer

Download (PDF)


The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Dr. Olaf Thormann, with contributions from Julia Blume, Karoline Schliemann, Bernd Schultz and Dr. Olaf Thormann, Leipzig: Faber und Faber, 2023

300 pages with 500 coloured illustrations in hardcover with book jacket, 40 €, ISBN 978-3-86730-256-2
Available at the Museum's shop and in bookshops.