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Graphic Art and Posters

The museum collects all purpose-oriented pictorial forms from print graphics to contemporary graphic design.

The most well-known form is the poster, ideally both an artistically-aesthetically designed picture and a medium for conveying information. The collection does not focus on product marketing but on art and exhibition-related advertising. The MAKK owns examples from the art nouveau era, featuring work by artists and graphic designers such as Alphons Mucha, Thomas Theodor Heine, Fritz Hellmuth Ehmcke, Anton Wolff, Werner Labbé, Josef Faßbender, Uwe Loesch, Walter Nikkels and Almir Mavignier, by German and Swiss advertising agencies, as well as by many contemporary artists from Joseph Beuys, Martin Kippenberger and Robert Rauschenberg to Peter Zimmermann. In the work of some artists, for example Lawrence Weiner, the poster blurs the boundary with autonomous pictorial forms.

Since the 16th century, ornamental prints have played a key role in the training and professional practice of many artists, architects and artisans by providing exemplary designs for the fine and applied arts. Artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Albrecht Altdorfer or Annibale Carracci contributed their ornamental etchings as did lesser-known masters such as Heinrich Aldegrever or Bartel Beham. The collection includes a large number of famous ornamental engravers: from Hans Collaert, Jacques Ducerceau, Paul Vredeman de Vries, Jacob Floris or Wenzel Hollar to Jean Lepautre, Daniel Marot or Jean Bérain, the royal engraver at the court of Louis XIV.

 

Ornamental Prints Collection

Due to concerns related to conservation, the books from the ornamental prints collection cannot be loaned. Researchers will, however, have the option to study the books in the museum. Please arrange an appointment by writing to makk@stadt-koeln.de. Thank you for your cooperation!