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BILDNEREI DER GEFANGENEN: Studie Zur Bildnerischen Gestaltung Ungeubter Von Hans Prinzhorn [Artistry of the Prisoners: A Study in Creative Design]

PRINZHORN, Hans

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Berlin: Axel Juncker, (1926). First Edition. 4to. Publisher's original black cloth with gilt titles. Very good with some soiling to cloth and a small tear at spine tail. Some faint stains to prelims. Else bright and tight. 60pp. followed by 80 plates and 7pp. illustrations with key. Laid in is a rare promotional 4-page flyer advertising the publication of the book with blurbs from Thomas Mann and others, likely inserted in newspapers and magazines. Scarce this condition and with promotional materials. (Item ID: 15770)

Prinzhorn, a psychiatrist by training, followed his landmark book Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (Artistry of the Mentally Ill, 1923) with this effort, extending his interest in outsider art to the criminal and encarcerated. The book features 176 illustrations including two color lithographs tipped-in. Includes a large selection of plates showing examples of prisoners' art in different mediums -- drawings, paintings, sculpture, playing cards, and etchings on cell walls among others -- examples that would go on to influence the likes of Max Ernst and Paul Klee. Particularly striking among the plates are a set of 13 photographs from the police bureau in Hamburg showing the heavily tattooed bodies of men and women in police custody. Also included is a sample of theives' symbols with a key explaining their meaning. A cornerstone work in the art brut movement.


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