Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration


Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration (1897) by Joseph Rudolf Witzel.

One of the discoveries made by following leads from the back issues of Jugend magazine was the unearthing of another cache of German periodicals at the Internet Archive. Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration (German Art & Decoration) was founded by Alex Koch in 1897 and the early editions are heavily advertised in the back pages of Jugend. Koch’s journal covers similar ground to the art magazine Pan which was running at the same time but includes additional features on furniture, architecture and interior design. Given the period, all the early issues are heavily biased towards Art Nouveau as the following samples demonstrate. I’m not sure what the figures in Joseph Rudolf Witzel’s poster are supposed to represent. Jugend means “youth”, and most of the Art Nouveau artists and designers were relatively young so it’s possible to see the boy as representative of this. In which case the woman would have to be a muse since it’s only as muse figures (or goddesses, like the picture of Athena below) that women are allowed much of an active role in art of this period.


The Internet Archive has 50 volumes of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration covering 1898 to 1922. I’ve barely begun to look at these, and I’ve already found more journals along similar lines so expect this to be a recurrent theme for a while. The following graphics are samples from the first volume, a series of designs for posters and bookplates.







Previously on { feuilleton }
Jugend, 1896
Jugend Magazine revisited
The Great God Pan
Jugend Magazine

5 thoughts on “Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration”

  1. These are wonderful – sites like never cease to amaze, although the sheer amount of things on there is overwhelming. Makes me think of all the periodicals id like to see scanned and downloadable…..Oz, East Village Other,Orchid Garden,the Process,Weird Tales,Bomp,Creem,Zigzag,BLAST,ect ect……….
    I was going to add Savoy to that list but ive just found 4 volumes on…..

  2. Holy shit, well-spotted with the Savoy! I’d definitely searched for that in the past but I see they only added it recently. All the Beardsley artwork is familiar enough but now I can read some of the articles as well.

    We’re in a time now where more and more of this stuff is becoming available for anyone, not just academics with passes to the big libraries. It’s always frustrated me seeing pages from these magazines and wondering what the rest of the content was like. I’m going to do a round-up post shortly which gathers together the various discoveries so far.

    By coincidence, also has the Oz Trading site archived which features scans of almost the entire run of Oz. Not as useful as having PDFs but better than nothing.

  3. Nice to see the oz site preserved – i thought it had gone forever (another reason why pdfs are better).
    The problem with this digital age is the sheer amount of culture out there to absorb (greater minds than mine have talked about this before) . Its like going from starvation to a huge banquet – you just cant eat it all.
    Incidentally, and just to make things worse, the Yellow Book is on too………..

  4. Yes, the Yellow Book has been there for a while. Nice for the Beardsley contributions but the content was rather dull which is why Oscar Wilde was so sniffy towards it. Some of the YB writers even complained about Beardsley’s work, saying it was offensive!

  5. I think a quick search of Beardsley’s work (which was extensive) reveals a mocking, rebellious tone, while delving into the more obscure stuff one discovers that much of it was borderline pornography.

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