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Karl Blossfeldt

Text from The Photography Encyclopedia

Blossfeldt, Karl
German 1865-1932

Blossfeldt, Karl (1865-1932) German Photographer

Blossfeldt achieved recognition for his microphotographs of plants, which were first seen by the public in his book Urformen der Kunst (The Originary Forms of Art), published in 1928.

His book contains 120 of the almost 6,000 microphotographs he had taken since 1890, when his teacher, Moritz Meurer, assigned him to make a collection of natural forms as an inspiration. He wished to show that although nature and art are profoundly different, all forms of art have their beginning in the forms of nature. In addition to his personal work as a photographer, Blossfeldt was an art professor in Berlin.

He always considered his work as a teaching tool, not as independent works of art. The beauty of the natural forms he photographed and the objectivity and lack of sentimentality in his work readily connect him to such New Objectivity photographers as August Sander and Albert Renger Patzsch.


 


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