This unassuming little book gives the reader no indication of the riches it holds inside. The design of the text and eight double page illustrations are the work of Carl Otto Czeschka, a leading member of the Vienna Secession. Czeschka studied at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts and worked as a designer for the Wiener Werkstätte from 1905 until 1908 when he left for a teaching post at Hamburgs’ Kunstgewerbeschule. Czeschka went on to design for a variety of media including jewelry, metalwork, textiles, furniture and book design.
This copy of Die Nibelungen will be included in an exhibition at the Princeton University Art Museum from March 21 to June 7, 2009. The show, entitled “Myth and Modernity: Ernst Barlach’s Images of The Nibelungen and Faust” will offer the first American showing of the Nibelungen drawing cycle by Barlach.