Berlin: Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1932. 1st Edition. Folio, publisher's blue cloth, spine and upper board gilt, original photo-illustrated dust jacket.
Collection of 120 extraordinary full-page photogravures of plants, by leading photographer of the German Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objecitvity) movement Karl Blossfeldt. A widespread cultural movement, New Objectivity emerged in Germany in the wake of the First World War, as a reaction against Expressionism. Photography in particular was seen as uniquely suited to the authentic documentation of the world as it is, unmediated by abstraction or sentimentalization. Blossfeldt trained at the Academy of Royal Crafts Museum in Berlin, where he later taught. He spent thirty years photographing plants, using a camera he altered to record surfaces with unprecedented magnification and clarity, the results of which were published in three important monographs: Urformen der Kunst (1928), the present volume, and Wunder in der Natur (1942). "Blossfeldt believed that in nature one finds the foundation of all forms...Beautifully but starkly composed against plain cardboard backgrounds, [his] images rely on a northern light for their sense of volume...Blossfeldt's aim was to produce a catalogue of forms that could be placed at the disposal of artists, craftsmen, and architects as they conceived their designs" (International Center of Photography). Text in German. Open Book, 106. Parr & Badger, 96. Bookplate. Bookseller ticket. Light foxing to edges without affecting plates; some soiling and minor restoration to scarce dust jacket. Near fine. Item #765