Elisabeth Tonnard

The Library


A series of eight archival pigment ink prints.
Size: 30 x 40 cm each.
Edition of 3 + 1 AP.
Leerdam, 2015.

The images are tiny selections from pictures in a catalogue documenting the losses of the Gemäldegalerie at the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, the present-day Bode Museum, in Berlin during and after World War II. The Gemäldegalerie lost over four hundred paintings, the sculpture collection at the museum lost about a third of its holdings. Photographic documentation and plaster casts remain as ghostly echoes of what was once there. The majority of losses occurred in the days just before and after the end of the war in May 1945 when two devastating fires in the Friedrichshain flak tower destroyed most of the major works of art that had been stored there for safekeeping. The cause of the fires was never explained and has become the subject of legend. Trapped in there were the paintings these images refer to.

Also see the related bookwork The Library; seven of the images appear in the book, one is only present in the print series.


Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

January 3, 2016 at 11:58 pm