Monday, 27 June 2011

The Gates of the Gutenberg Museum - Mystery solved? - #1372

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.

Until now.

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?

Related posts:
Making a mark
Just like a bad dream
Elementary, my dear Watson 
An invitation 

Petrea Burchard of Pasadena Daily Photo recently wrote a kind comment on one of the posts in this series:

"I understand that Mainz Daily Photo is now the main repository on the internet of information about these gates. This is how one becomes an authority--one simply decides to be one, and becomes one."

Unfortunately, this really does seem to be the case.

I still find it absurd to the point of parody that neither the museum nor the city knows ANYTHING about a major work by a major artist sitting right in front of their noses.

And both showing little apparent interest in changing that status.

On reflection, it's fairly obvious that Rainer Schell wasn't flavour of the month with the city fathers at the time and their cordial dislike of him might have been unfairly transferred to Karl-Heinz Krause. 

I have no idea how that could happen - he's a lovely man, his wife Ursula (an artist in her own right) is a sweetie (and makes great coffee to boot) and the ructions all happened decades ago.

Water under the bridge.

For the conspiracy theorists: Perhaps there IS a plot to rewrite history. How else would you explain away this image of the museum's courtyard sans gates in the June issue of the house publication of the Mainzer Volksbank?

It must date back to the first 2 years of the millennium when the panels were languishing in a building material depot.

Either that or someone's a dab hand with Adobe's PhotoShop

There are a few things that the Gutenberg Museum and the City of Mainz could do to ensure that the knowledge isn't subject to Blogger's capriciousness.

Things have been known to disappear....

The city needs to update its Wikipedia content ( the list of statues and monuments is one example.) Including the gates in their tourist information wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
The museum needs to provide at least SOME information for the public about a significant sculpture in its courtyard.
Signage? Website?
(Informing their own employees would be a good starting point, too. Just how embarrassing IS it to know NOTHING about sculptures that you walk past every day?)

And given that next year is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the new museum, perhaps they'd care to honour the work and the artist.

Just saying...


paul said...

Congrats, jb, on a thorough investigation turning out to be a ripping yarn.

I could be mistaken, but I don't think you expect much action from the official channels (although with an anniversary coming up, maybe the Museum will listen). So in the spirit of wikipedia, the first step should be to insert the sculpture in the list (Tore am Gutenbergmuseum?), linked to your blog. To back up blogger, maybe create a wikipedia page for the sculpture?

(Go to the Liste der ... and click on the tab "Ungesichtete Aenderunden" near the top to see a first attempt).

Virginia said...

Well he looks like a delightfully nice man, and extremely talented to boot. How about a worldwide blog petition for us all to sign? When I get to Mainz I intend for the gates, and a visit to the artist to be numero un on my list! :)

Jack said...

I visited today to see the photograph of the artist, so I don't know much about the gate issue you discuss here. But, the portrait is excellent.

nathalie said...

I guess creating a wikipedia entry is indeed the way to go. Go jb !


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