Karl Blossfeldt (June 13, 1865 – December 9, 1932 - age 67) was a German photographer, sculptor, teacher and artist who worked in Berlin, Germany. He is best known for his close-up photographs of plants and living things, published in 1929 as Urformen der Kunst. He was inspired, as was his father, by nature and the way in which plants grow. He believed that 'the plant must be valued as a totally artistic and architectural structure.'
Among his students at the Berlin Arts and Crafts School was Heinz Warneke. From 1924, he was professor at the Vereinigte Staatsschulen für freie und angewandete Kunst (United State School for Fine and Applied Art) in Berlin.
Blossfeldt made many of his photographs with a homemade camera that could magnify the subject up to 30 times its actual size, revealing details within a plant's natural structure. Published in 1928 when Blossfeldt was 63 and a professor of applied art at the Berliner Kunsthochschule (Berlin Academy of Art), Urformen der Kunst quickly became an international bestseller and in turn made Blossfeldt famous almost overnight. His contemporaries were impressed by the abstract shapes and structures in nature that he revealed. In 2001 Urformen der Kunst was included in "The Book of 101 Books" as one of the seminal photographic books of the Twentieth Century.
- Blossfeldt, Karl, Urformen Der Kunst: Photographische Pflanzenbilder, Verlag Ernst Wasmuth A.G. Berlin, 1929
- Cunningham, Mary Mullen, Heinz Warneke (1895-1983): A Sculptor First and Last, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 1994 p. 22
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karl Blossfeldt.|
- Website Karl-Blossfeldt-Archiv (parts of this page are in English)
- The Portfolio
- Blossfeldt's Urformen der Kunst
- Masters of Photography article
- Fine Rare Prints Antique Prints