The Gates of the Gutenberg Museum – a 12 part series attempting to unravel the mystery of the bronze gates of the Gutenberg Museum.
4 massive sculptures by one of the most significant German figurative sculptors of the mid to late 20th century.
In this series:
Part 1 – The Story so far
Part 2 – Johannes Gutenberg and his museum
Part 3 – A new museum
Part 4 – The Commission
Part 5 – The Artist
Part 6 – The Decision
Part 7 – The Gates
One of the chosen few
Part 8 – The Process
Part 9 – Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution
Part 10 – Lost and Unlost
Part 11 – But where are the originals?
Part 12 – Mystery solved?
Making a mark
Just like a bad dream
Elementary, my dear Watson
Source: K-H Krause
Mainz’s more wealthy citizens in past centuries built their own palatial residences, richly decorated and with enclosed courtyards to keep
the paparazzi and the general riff-raff at a safe distance.
Zum Marienberg was no exception.
After the bombing raid of 27 February 1945, only the shell of Zum Römischen Kaiser, part of the Zum Marienberg complex, remained and Rainer Schell, the architect of the new museum, aimed to echo the historical courtyard with his new design offering a modern counterpoint to the recreated Renaissance structure.
The original design was to link high streamlined concrete pillars with Karl-Heinz Krause’s bronze panels hinged as functional gates.
Someone ventured that the gates might be a tad HEAVY and that a finger caught between gate and jamb would rapidly become an EX-finger. Or ex-hand, for that matter.
Back to the drawing board and what came out was what you see above – the panels anchored between the pillars, alternating with double glass gates with a portcullis pattern.
Karl-Heinz Krause flies back from Berlin (these were the days when only the 3 occupying powers were allowed to fly along the corridors over East German territory – he told me that he preferred Air France, because they had the Caravelle
, possibly the prettiest jet aircraft ever built. And the food was better…) and is taken to a storeroom somewhere in Mainz where the treasures of the Gutenberg Museum are stored.
People had other things to do in the immediate post-war years than catalogue museum inventories and he could pretty much choose which printing blocks he wanted.
Has them packed into crates, shipped back to Berlin and sets about arranging them for the final design and casting at the Noack fine art foundry
Oh, and his disappointment at the rejection of his “Jüngling” figure is short-lived.
His gallery owner partner, Otto Stangl, has a rich industrialist (with exquisite taste) as an in-law…….
Tomorrow: The Process