Neue Formen: Dekorative Entwürfe für die Praxis

Eckmann, Otto. Neue formen: dekorative entwürfe für die praxis. Berlin: Max Spielmeyer Verlag, [1897?].

One of the most beautiful works I encountered when perusing the Martin S. Kermacy Collection was Neue Formen: Dekorative Entwürfe für die Praxis by Otto Eckmann. Otto Eckmann (1865-1902), a German painter and designer, was an influential member of the German branch of Art Nouveau known as Jugendstil. Although Eckmann was classically trained at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg and Nuremberg, in 1894 he abandoned landscape painting to fully focus his attention on the applied arts. He began working for publications such as Pan and Jugend, the German art magazine from which Jugendstil derives its name, while also designing tapestries, metalwork, logos, and fonts. Two of his fonts, Eckmann-Schrift and Fette Eckmann, are amongst the most prominent of the surviving Jugendstil fonts.

Neue Formen was probably published in 1897 during the period when Eckmann was teaching ornamental painting at the Unterrichtsanstalt des Kunstgewerbemuseums Berlin, the training institution affiliated with the Museum of Decorative Arts. The book, a large portfolio, consists of a brief introduction followed by 10 color plates. The illustrations, which range from floral motifs to frolicking flamingos, are inspired by Eckmann’s study of Japanese prints and printmaking techniques.

Library of Congress call number: -F- N 6888 E27 A4 1897