The Kurt Löb Collection at Our Library

Works, Exhibition Catalogs, and Essays by and about the Book Illustrator

Kurt Löb illustrated books by Balzac, Flaubert and Maupassant, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Gogol and Tolstoy, Anna Seghers, Joseph Roth and Stefan Zweig, Christopher Isherwood, and Imre Kertész, and after 2008 also stories of his own. We acquired a collection about his work in 2006 and have supplemented it with targeted acquisitions.

Our Collection

Some of the collector’s editions are signed and most were published by Dutch publishers. In addition, the collection includes catalogs of exhibitions, essays published in magazines by and about Kurt Löb, and his dissertation Exil-Gestalten. Deutsche Buchgestalter in den Niederlanden 1932–1950 (Exile Designs: German Book Designers in the Netherlands, 1932–1950) published in 1995.


W. M. Blumenthal Academy, Library

Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
(Opposite the Museum)

Kurt Löb’s Life Story

The book illustrator Kurt Löb was born in Berlin in 1926 and, like our founding director W. Michael Blumenthal, attended the Kaliski Jewish Forest School before fleeing to Amsterdam with his family in 1939. There, aged 16, he began his art studies at the Rijksakademie and then trained as a commercial artist at an Amsterdam type foundry.

"Back on Berlin Cobbles"

Kurt Löb had his first trip back to Berlin in 1971: "I arrived at the same Zoo train station where we once departed into exile. And I went out of there with my heavy suitcase, turning right on Hardenbergstraße. I was back on Berlin cobbles, unique the whole world over, composed with Prussian diligence of numerous small stones which were so good for throwing during riots... And I felt a little at home again, although I could never again feel completely at home here." (“Berlin und ich.” In.: Exhibition catalog for "Kurt Löb – Bild + Buch." Berlin: Kunstamt Berlin-Wilmersdorf, 1972. Also printed in Aktuell 76 [2005]).

Kurt Löb died in Amsterdam in 2015.

Kurt Löb: Berlin und ich

The text was also published in Aktuell 76 (2005)

To the text on (in German)

Buchcover von Kurt Löb: »De schilder en andere verhalten« mit Akt-Gemälde

Kurt Löb: De schilder en andere verhalen. Amstelveen: Uitgeverij Tienstuks 2011; Jewish Museum Berlin

Our Reading Room is open to the public. You can also research using our library’s holdings and some of our collection’s holdings online. To view additional holdings, please contact the responsible curators.
The contact person for photo reproductions is Valeska Wolfgram (tel.: +49 (0)30 259 93 433, email: Due to preparations for our new permanent exhibition, our time is very limited. We therefore ask that you please refrain from sending loan requests for the time being. For urgent inquiries, please contact Katrin Strube (tel.: +49 (0)30 259 93 417, email:

W. M. Blumenthal Academy, Library

Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
(Opposite the Museum)

Special Collections (5) On Jewish Art and Culture Show all

On Jewish Art and Culture

Some of our Library’s most important collections include the volumes printed by the Soncino Society of Friends of Jewish Books (founded in 1924), the publications of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith, and special collections on Jewish art and visual culture.

The William L. Gross Collection

The 400-book collection includes Judaica, documents, and literature on Jewish art and culture.

The Ulrich von Kritter Collection

The collection comprises around sixty illustrated works of German-Jewish and Yiddish Literature (1920–1990).

The Kurt Löb Collection

The collection includes signed and unsigned works by the book illustrator, exhibition catalogs, essays by and about him, and his dissertation.

The Soncino Society Collection

With eighty Society publications from 1924 to 1937, our collection – a bequest from Hermann Meyer – is complete.

The John F. and Hertha Oppenheimer Collection

Publications of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith, other writings from the interwar period, and books published in the US after 1945