Bruno Gimpel

Biography

Jewish. Born 14 January 1886 in Rostock. 1905-8: studied at the Düsseldorf Kunstgewerbeschule: teachers included F.H. Ehmcke and Peter Behrens. 1911: studied at the Dresden Akademie: his teachers included von Gussmann. He designed stained-glass windows for the Rostock Crematorium. By 1925: chairman, Association of Graphic Artists (Bund Deutscher Gebrauchsgraphiker: BDG), Dresden. 1933: informed by the Nazis that on racist grounds he could no longer work as a designer.

‘(16 March 1942) On our way back [from mandatory snow-shoveling duties for elderly Jews] on the last day: Gimpel; seemingly cheerful, harmless man, mid-fifties, Jew’s star, spectacles, the left lens black. Tells me: artist, was chairman of the Dresden Association of Graphic Artists, well known for his advertisement designs. – Going blind, left eye completely blind, cataract, right eye badly affected…’. (Klemperer, pp. 33-4)

‘(1st May 1943) …[E]veryone truly mourned a new deceased…[Gimpel] opened the gas tap when his Aryan wife was not at home…He [had] invited Eva and myself to look at his paintings. Even more than a landscape painter he was a scene painter. Afterwards I found out that he had designed church windows, that he had produced the wall decorations for the Rostock crematorium, that he had been president of the Association of Graphic Artists of Saxony. He himself told me that until the ban on school instruction for Jewish children he had taught them drawing….He was only in his late fifties.’ (Klemperer, p. 271)

Gimpel was 57 when he committed suicide (to avoid deportation) 28 April 1943 in Niederpoyritz (Dresden).

Much of his work was reproduced in the special Dresden issue of Gebrauchsgraphik, 1925, v. 3.

Writings by

    report to BDG members, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., 1925, v. 3, pp. 74-5.

Writings about

  • Hellmut Rademacher, Deutsche Plakatkunst und ihre Meister, Hanau: Verlag Werner Dausien, 1965., 1965 ( illust .)
  • Walter F. Schubert, ‘Urkundengraphik’ (certificates), Das Plakat, May 1921, pp. 273-88, esp. p. 285
  • Vollmer, 1955
  • Victor Klemperer, To the Bitter End/The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1942-45 (Martin Chalmers, tr.), London: Phoenix, 2000. [ Write for permission .]
  • Saur, 2000
  • Hellmut Rademacher, Das deutsche Plakat. Von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, Dresden: VEB Verlag der Kunst, 1965., 1965, p. 238 (adv. exh., 1921)
  • Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, Munich/Leipzig: K.G. Saur Verlag, 1990-., 2007.
  • Georg Paech, ‘Dresdner Gebrauchsgraphik’ (Dresden issue), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., 1925, 3, pp. 3-4, followed by supplement, esp. pp. 21, 22, 41, 58