Frieda Thiersch

Biography

Bookbindings. Born 7 February (or 4 July) 1889 in Munich. Daughter of the Munich architect Friederich von Thiersch. 1910-13: studied at the Munich Kunstgewerbeschule. In London she learned bookbinding from Charles F. McLeish, the Doves Press binder. 1913 (or 1914): began designing the bookbindings for Willy Wiegand’s newly-founded Bremer Press in Munich but, at the start of the Great War (World War I) she became a Red Cross Sister and remained so until the end of the war in 1918 after which she returned to work at the Bremer Press where she was director of the bookbindery workshop. 1928-33: designed initials for two Bremer Press books (see J. Lehnacker, 1964, below). She ran her own workshop in Munich from 1933 until 1945. 1938: awarded Gold Medal, Paris World’s Fair. Died 11 July (or June) 1947. Her photograph appears in Unsere Zeit in 77 Frauenbildnissen, Niels Kampmann Verlag, c. 1930.

Writings about

  • Bookbindings by Frieda Thiersch (‘Dedicated to the members of The First Edition Club by the Verlag der Bremer Presse Munich’), London: First Edition Club, 1929
  • Alexander Heilmeyer, ‘Künstlerische Buchgestaltung’ (bindings), Die Kunst im Deutschen Reich, Oct. 1939, pp. 338-41
  • Fritz Krinitz, ‘Nachruf für Frieda Thiersch’ (obituary), Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, H. 12, 1949 (includes page of bookbindings)
  • Vollmer, 1958
  • Josef Lehnacker, Die Bremer Presse, Munich: Typographische Gesellschaft, 1964
  • Bernhard Zeller and Werner Volke (eds.), Buchkunst und Dichtung. Zur Geschichte der Bremer Presse und der Corona (exh. cat.), 1966, p. 36 (brief biog.)
  • Fritz Krinitz, Frieda Thiersch und ihre Handbuchbinderei, Stuttgart: Hettler, 1968
  • F.A. Schmidt-Künsemüller (intro.), Handeinbände von Frieda Thiersch zu Drucken der Bremer Presse, Neu-Isenburg: Tiessen, 1970, includes H.A. Halbey, Marcus Behmer als Illustrator (Monographien und Materialien zur Buchkunst series)
  • R. Müller-Krumbach (foreword), Die Cranach-Presse des Grafen Kessler in Weimar (dealer’s cat.), Ramsen, Switzerland, and Rotthalmünster, Germany: Heribert Tenschert, 1994 (items 95-101).

Exhibitions

  • First Edition Club, London, 1929 (and in exhibitions of the Bremer Press).