Friedrich Kurt Fiedler

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Kurt Fiedler

Friedrich Kurt Fiedler (8 March 1894 – 11 November 1950) was a German graphic designer. During the Weimar Republic he became known for his book and poster designs. Kurt Fiedler was an active member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

Life[change | change source]

Kurt Fiedler was born in the little village Eichbusch near Dresden as a son of a carpenter. Together with the later known painter Hermann Glöckner he attended around 1910 the evening classes of the Kunstgewerbeschule Dresden.[1] The students were educated in an aesthetic style, which was propagated by Deutscher Werkbund. From 1911 to 1915 Fiedler got a grant to study as master scholar of Richard Guhr and Josef Goller. During World War I Fiedler served as front-line soldier in France. After the war, Ferdinand Avenarius introduced him to the Dürerbund. Fiedler lived in the house of this leading cultural organization in Blasewitz for about 20 years. For the social democratic newspaper Dresdner Volkszeitung he designed the masthead.[2]

The Nazis hindered Kurt Fiedler because he was known as an active social democrat. During World War II Kurt Fiedler served as translator for French prisoners of war. He left army in 1942 because of poor health. Until the end of Nazi Germany he earned his money with technical drawings at the Dresden University of Technology. The home of Kurt Fiedler was completely destroyed during Bombing of Dresden in World War II on 13 February 1945. After the war, Kurt Fiedler belonged to the directorate of the association of fine arts in Dresden. He was artistic fellow worker of the Saxon regional board of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. As nearly all social democrats Fiedler became sidelined in following years.

Artwork[change | change source]

Fiedler worked for the leading publishing houses of Dresden. B.G. Teubner, Theodor Steinkopff-Verlag, Wilhelm-Limpert-Verlag, Buchdruckerei der Dr. Güntz'schen Stiftung and Rudolph'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung were known nationwide. Fiedler designed books on astronomy for the Dürerbund and the local planetarium.[3] Especially known were his cover illustrations for adventure stories of the famous circus Sarrasani.[4] Some of the books for Talisman-Bücherei of Rudolph were banned by the Nazis.[5] They were bound to the New Thought movement.

On occasion of the World Advertising Congress 1929 in Berlin, Fiedler was awarded for his poster design. Some important posters were Hiertstein - Katzenstein Gebiet,[6] Riesen-Auftakt 43. Bundesfest Bund Deutscher Radfahrer for the German Cycling Federation,[7] and 200 Jahre Dresdner Anzeiger on occasion of the jubilee of the first newspaper of Dresden. After 1930 Fiedler became known for some of his drawings, especially of children.[8]

Fiedler counts today as one of the leading poster artists of post-war East Germany.[9][10] Many of his works can be found in Deutsches Historisches Museum, Akademie der Künste and the German Federal Archive. Among his best known pieces of that period is Junkerland in Bauernhand, a movie poster designed for the DEFA.[11] The German national picture archive of arts at the University of Marburg documents 34 of his posters from that time.

References[change | change source]

Archive[change | change source]

  • City Archive of Dresden ( 79 documents; drawings, posters, illustrations, advertising graphics)

Literature[change | change source]

  • James Aulich, Marta Sylvestrová: Political posters in Central and Eastern Europe, 1945-95: signs of the times. Ed. James Aulich, Marta Sylvestrová. Manchester University Press ND, 1999

Notes[change | change source]

  1. John Erpenbeck: Hermann Glöckner – Ein Patriarch der Moderne. Der Morgen. Berlin 1983. p. 44-45.
  2. Gebrauchsgraphik. Jg. 2, 3/1925. Prof. H. K. Frenzel (Hrsg.). Verlag Phöenix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH Berlin
  3. (Kurd Kißhauer: Der Sternenhimmel im Feldglas; Das Planetarium der Stadt Dresden.)
  4. Gideon Reuveni: Reading Germany: Literature and Consumer Culture in Germany before 1933. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2006.
  5. Banned books by Rudolph'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung
  6. Limpert 1930, Austrian National Library Vienna, EPOC project of the European Union
  7. Deutsches Historisches Museum
  8. Deutsche Fotothek (Sonja and Frank - the two elder children of Friedrich Kurt Fiedler)
  9. Fritz Donner: Ausstellung zum 30. Jahrestag der Gründung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik. Berlin, Altes Museum. 3 October - 31 December 1979, p. 324.
  10. Dr. Sylke Wunderlich: Überklebt – Plakate aus der DDR. Schwerin, 24 August - 21 October 2007. Exhibition catalogue p. 11, 48, 157, 173.
  11. (Junkerland in Bauernhand - Zwei Jahre Bodenreform.)

Other websites[change | change source]