The Scribe and the Silhouette

Rudolf Koch (1876–1934) was an artist-craftsman of tremendous capabilities and one of the great type designers of the twentieth century. As a scribe, he created works in blackletter of such breathtaking energy it could be said that the expressiveness he achieved in letterforms has never been surpassed. Much of this mastery is also evident in the types he designed for the Klingspor Bros. Type Foundry in Offenbach, Germany between 1906 and 1934. Less well known, however, is his amazing work in the art of papercutting, a folk art which enjoyed considerable popularity in the Victorian era and the first decades of the twentieth century. This article takes a look at some of Koch’s Scherenschnitte, created for Klingspor’s marketing efforts.

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