Karl Blossfeldt: Masterworks


A remarkable collection of vintage portraits of plants by the great pioneer of botanical photography, Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932)

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ISBN: 9780500544754 Category:

Hansjörg Küster


Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) was a great pioneer of botanical photography, yet he was neither a professional photographer nor a botanist. A professor at the Academy of Applied Arts in Berlin, he was a sculptor and amateur photographer, and his interest in the plant world was originally educational. Fascinated by the structure of plants, whose apparently artistic forms were created by biological expediency, he realized that photography could be a useful teaching tool, allowing his students to see and compare many natural forms.

Blossfeldt worked with a homemade camera and gathered and photographed his own plant samples, magnifying them by up to 45 times. From around 1898 onwards, he shot some 6,000 images, which he used primarily as visual aids in his classes. Eventually published as Art Forms in Nature (1928) and Art Forms in Nature, Second Series (1932), his photographs had a lasting impact on the art of his day and were enthusiastically embraced by both the Surrealists and the New Objectivity movement. His books brought him overnight fame and are still considered landmarks in the history of art and photography. This volume brings together a remarkable collection of Blossfeldt’s strikingly austere yet poetic portraits of plants, capturing their timeless beauty in intimate detail.

Additional information

Weight 1606 g
Dimensions 24.3 x 37.6 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 May 2017
Number of pages 160
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Ann Wilde and Jürgen Wilde
Dimensions 24.3 x 37.6 cm
Weight 1606 g


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Hansjörg Küster is professor of plant ecology at the Institute of Geobotany, Leibniz University of Hanover.

Ann Wilde are collectors and founders of the Karl Blossfeldt Archive.