Oskar Kokoschka … and “Die traeumenden Knaben” (1907)

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-01 om 14.32.20

In the upcoming Bubb Kuyper auction is one of the most important Wiener Werkstatte books ever published. It is the book illustrated with 8 lithographs by Oskar Kokoschka …Die traeumenden Knaben

The financier of the Wiener Werkstätte, Franz Waerndorfer, commissioned Oskar Kokoschka to create a fairytale book for his children in 1907. It was published by the Wiener Werkstätte in 500 copies, and was presented at the Kunstschau exhibition of 1908. The number of copies ordered was disappointingly small and only a few copies were bound at the time. In 1917 Kurt Wolff reissued 275 copies of the remaining printrun in a lim. numb. edition and in a slightly different binding from the original binding (without use of the gilt thread). This copy up for auction is one of the UNNUMBERED copies of the first edition and as such is very rare, especially in this fine condition. At the time of commissioning (1907) Oskar Kokoschka was still a student at Vienna’s Kunstgewerbeschule. The fairytale that he wrote shows his strong Expressionist tendencies and is not a typical children’s book. As Waerndorfer wrote to Kokoschka’s former teacher C.O. Czeschka: “Eben bringt Kokoschka sein Märchenbuch, fertig und mit Text. Zum Beispiel: Musik, Musik, Gaukler, mein Leib, Schellenrassler, Beckenschläger. Weg der Popanz meines sündhaften Vorbehalts. Helle Feur liegen an den Zwergwäldern. Hinab springe ich mit wehenden Gewändern zur Erde und wie ein hoher einziger Ton steht hinter mir auf den Gärten die Sehnsucht. Na servus, und das ist der Lehrer meiner Kinder. Aber die Bilder sind glänzend.

For less expensive books on Kokoschka please visit www.ftn-books.com

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