Willy Wiegand

Biography

Publisher, type designs. Born 1 June 1884 in Bremen; son of the director of Norddeutschen Lloyd shipping line. December 1910: co-founded (with Leopold O.H. Biermann, Rudolf Borchardt, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Rudolf Alexander Schröder, Ludwig Wolde) in Bremen the Bremer Press, which issued fine books from 1913 until 1939. (Wiegand was the technical director, Wolde the editorial director.) The first book, von Hofmannsthal’s Die Wege und die Begegnungen, issued November 1913. Influenced by the earlier books of the English Doves Press, the simple typographic style of the productions was embellished only with the lettering for title-pages and initials by Anna Simons, a German calligrapher who had trained with Edward Johnston in London. 1913-14: The Press in Bremen; 1919-21: in Bad Tölz. 1921: the Press moved to the ‘Gartenhaus’, Georgenstrasse 16a, Munich, from where it produced editions until 1939. The magnificent productions (bookbindings by Frieda Thiersch) were usually issued in hand-printed editions of about 250 copies for subscribers. Wiegand designed several types for the Press. September 1923: the Iliad issued. Spring 1924: the Odyssey issued. 1926-9: publication of the Press’s most ambitious production: The Luther Bible. From July 1930: designed and printed for Verlag R. Oldenbourg of Munich the bi-monthly Corona, ‘…surely the most beautiful literary journal’. (Philobiblon) The Second World War brought an end to the Bremer Press: ‘In [a bombing raid] July 1944, the Gartenhaus [the location of the Press in Munich], burned with all its contents, including Dr Wiegand’s valuable library. A site of important German creative culture, a place of an outstanding writer and scholar…destroyed.’ (Zeller and Volke, 1966) ‘The Bremer Presse books…were magnificently made in every craftsmanlike detail….The books were clearly made to glorify the written word and the traditional art of the book, which they do with great distinction.’ (Blumenthal, 1973) Willy Wiegand died 30 October 1961 in Munich.

Writings by

  • ?Prospectus for the Iliad and the Odyssey, 1922/3
  • ‘Die Bremer-Presse’, Die Bücherstube, 1923, pp. 151-60 (repr. in Richard von Sichowsky and Hermann Tiemann (eds.), Typographie und Bibliophilie, Hamburg: Maximilian-Gesellschaft, 1971, pp. 163-72)
  • ‘Über Schrift und Sprache’ in Mitteilungen der Deutschen Akademie, v. 16, 1927, pp. 21-9
  • ‘German Private Presses’, Imprimatur, 1930, pp. 101-7 (talk given to the Grolier Club, New York, 11 April 1929)
  • ‘Ein Brief’ (to Josua L. Gampp), Philobiblon, v. 7, 1931, pp. 289-90
  • contribution in Anna Simons, Munich/Berlin: Oldenbourg, and Zurich: Corona (Schriften der Corona VIII), 1934, p. 56
  • ‘Marginal notes by the printer of the Icones’ (an address delivered at the Grolier Club, 2 Dec. 1936), Three Vesalian Essays, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 27-42 (‘History of Medicine’ series, Library of the New York Academy of Medicine)
  • ‘Die Bremer Presse und ihre Arbeitsweise’, Imprimatur, 1961/62, pp. 65-75 plus 2-page inset (includes portraits of WW and Anna Simons)
  • Bernhard Zeller and Werner Volke (eds.), Buchkunst und Dichtung. Zur Geschichte der Bremer Presse und der Corona (exh. cat.), 1966 (reprints of WW’s ‘Die Bremer Presse’ and ‘Über Schrift und Sprache’).

Writings about

  • review of Die Bremer Presse, in Form und Technik, Jan. 1965, p. 54
  • ‘Dr Willy Wiegand’ (70 th birthday), Der Polygraph, 20 June 1954, p. 724
  • Rudolf Adolph, Rudolf Alexander Schröder, Aschaffenburg: Pattloch, 1958 (history of Bremer Press, pp. 63-103
  • 1923-62: ‘Die Deutschen Pressen, Die Bücherstube, 1923
  • Horst Stobbe, Bremer Press bibliography, Die Bücherstube, 1923, pp. 186-8
  • Julius Rodenberg, Deutsche Pressen, Zurich/Vienna/Leipzig: Amalthea, 1925
  • Dr Hanna Kiel, ‘Tendencies in German Book-printing since 1914’, The Fleuron IV, 1925, pp. 71-97
  • Paul Renner, ‘Neue Ziele des Schriftschaffens’, Die Bücherstube, 1925
  • Julius Rodenberg, ‘Die Bremer Presse’, Deutsche Pressen, Zurich/Vienna/Leipzig, 1925 (and supplement 1925-30, 1931
  • review of De Civitate Dei, The Fleuron, 5, 1926, p. 196
  • Julius Rodenberg, ‘Die Privatpressen im Rahmen des Buchgewerbes’, Klimschs Jahrbuch, 1927, pp. 38-51
  • Handprinted books of the Bremer Presse (exh. cat.), Munich, London: John & Edward Bumpus, 1929
  • ‘German Private Presses’ (speech opening the Grolier Club exh., 11 April 1929), Imprimatur, 1930, pp. 101-7
  • Fritz Homeyer, ‘Germany’, in ‘A survey of the making of books in recent years’, The Dolphin, 1933, pp. 264-88, esp. p. 280
  • Heinrich Jost, ‘Die neue Buchkunst in Deutschland’ (typographic design changes), Imprimatur, 1939/40, pp. 105-28
  • Josef Lehnacker, ‘Der Handpressendruck’, Graphische Nachrichten, H.12, 1940
  • Heinrich F.S. Bachmair, ‘Die Bremer Presse’, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 1950, pp. 336-44
  • HS, 1952, pp. 29, 49, 51
  • Graphische Woche, 10 June 1954, p. 450 (70th birthday)
  • Hans H. Bockwitz, ‘Das Buchkunstwerk – Die Bremer Presse, Archiv für Buchgewerbe und Gebrauchsgraphik, Leipzig: Deutsche Buchgewerbeverein., H. 4, 1924
  • Rudolf Alexander Schröder, ‘Zum Tode Willy Wiegands’ (obituary), Philobiblon, June 1962, pp. 94-102
  • Hugo von Hofmannsthal, ‘Ankündigung des Verlages der Bremer Presse’ (written 1922), Philobiblon, June 1962, pp. 103-4
  • 1963-79: Printing and the Mind of Man (exh. cat.), London, 1963
  • Werner Volke, ed., ‘Briefe an Willy Wiegand und die Bremer Presse’ (correspondence: WW and Hugo von Hofmannsthal), Jahrbuch der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft, Stuttgart: Kröner, 1963, pp. 44-189 (Bremer Press bibliography, pp. 182-7)
  • ‘Bremer Presse’, GKS, 1963, pp. 84-9
  • Josef Lehnacker and others, Die Bremer Presse/Königin der deutschen Privatpressen, Munich: Typographische Gesellschaft, 1964 (includes bibliography of the Presse)
  • Bernhard Zeller and Werner Volke, Buchkunst und Dichtung/Zur Geschichte der Bremer Presse und der Corona (exh. cat.), (includes extracts from Wiegand’s writings, including ‘Die Bremer Presse’ of 1922/3, bibliography of Corona, and Joseph Blumenthal, ‘Erinnerungen an Willy Wiegand’, written 1962), Munich: Prinz Carl-Palais, 1966
  • Richard von Sichowsky and Hermann Tiemann (eds.), Typographie und Bibliophilie, Hamburg: Maximilian-Gesellschaft, 1971, pp. 261-2
  • (Joseph Blumenthal), Art of the Printed Book, 1455-1955 (exh. cat.), New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1973
  • GKS, 1978
  • G.K. Schauer, ‘Gegenwart und Zukunft unserer Buchkultur’, Philobiblon, March 1978, pp. 6-18
  • 1980-present: Die Insel und die moderne deutsche Buchkunst (auction cat. 257), Hamburg: Hauswedell & Nolte, 21/22 May 1985
  • Joseph Blumenthal, letter in Fine Print, Oct. 1986, pp. 235-6
  • Walter Wilkes, ‘Handpressendruck in Deutschland im 20. Jahrhundert’, Imprimatur, Band XII, 1987, pp. 11-19
  • 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)
  • Helmut Steffens, ‘Die Bibelschrift der Bremer Presse[:] Stempel und Matrizen in Klingspor-Museum zu Offenbach’, Philobiblon, March 1999, pp. 35-54
  • Deutsche Buchkunst im zwanzigsten Jahrhundert (exh. cat.), Hamburg: Hauswedell & Nolte, 2002.

Exhibitions

  • (Die Bremer Presse) Bumpus, London, 1929
  • Focke-Museum, Bremen, 1965
  • Klingspor Museum, Offenbach a.M., 1967
  • University Library, Heidelberg, 1972
  • Bremen, 1977
  • Hauswedell & Nolte, Hamburg, 2002.

Collections

  • (Bremer Presse) Klingspor Museum, Offenbach a.M.