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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.
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.
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 ).
Kurt Löb died in Amsterdam in 2015.