The Gates of the Gutenberg Museum – initially a 12 part series attempting to unravel the mystery of the bronze gates of the Gutenberg Museum.
I’ve now updated the information and rolled it into one article here
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, arguably 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 to 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 and heaps of folding stuff) as an in-law…….