[BAUMGARTEN, H. & G.]Kurt und Prinz. [Verfasst, illustriert und in Linol geschitten in den von Richard Rothe geleiteten Zeichenkursen am Pädagogischen Institut der Stadt Wien (= Written, illustrated and linocut in the drawing class of Richard Rothe at the Pedagogical Institute of the City of Vienna).
Wien, Pädagogischen Institut – Druck: Emil Gottstein, circa 1928.
Landscape 4to, publisher’s card covers, first side with the title and a large round coloured vignette. (16) pp. Cover illustration and 7 full-page b/w linocuts. Complete.
First Edition, published in small number, here in the issue without author and illustrator’s names.
Lovely children’s book entirely designed in the drawing class of Richard Rothe at the Pedagogical Institute in Vienna [Pädagogischen Institut der Stadt Wien].
Richard Rothe (1885-1955) was, along with Franz Cizek, one of the reformers of artistic education for young people in Austria. He was a professor at the Pedagogical Institute in Vienna and published numerous books from 1912, notably on the theme of drawing. “I am in favor of the art education of the masses, so I like to popularize art classes and offer help to teachers”, he said. “In Vienna, after the revolution of 1918, drawing and picture- making were passionately encouraged as a means of self- expression, and the principle of non-interference was carried out. Richard Rothe, whose method was widely adopted in the Vienna Schulreform had developed an ingenious method of teaching the child to draw by teaching him to think. He did not train the hand, as in the old free-hand drawing with its dull mechanical exercises, nor teach the eye like the naturalistic school, but the imagination, the power to visualise by means of understanding. If the child drew a man whose arms were merely stumps, Rothe would not correct it on paper but would ask the child: “How far would this poor man have to bend to put on his stockings?” – and he would bend to show the child how the real body functions. To counterbalance this intellectual training the official commentary to the curriculum advised the teacher to choose “unreal” or fantastic subjects from time to time like “sleeping trees” or “birds and butterflies which do not exist” (E. H. Gombrich, Art in education – 8: Some Trends and Experiments Abroad, The Listener, 22 September 1939, pp. 564-565).