Karl Blossfeldt

1865–1932

After an apprenticeship as a modeler in a foundry Karl Blossfeldt (German, 1865–1932) completed his studies as a draughtsman at Berlin’s Kunstgewerbeschule in 1886. He than began systematically photographing plants. From 1899 on he taught “Modelling Plant-Like Forms” at the Kunstgewerbeschule using his plant photographs as models. In 1921 he was appointed professor. The Berlin gallery owner Karl Nierendorf began in 1926 to exhibit his photographs, which were published in the books Urformen der Kunst (1928) and Wundergarten der Natur (1932). Along with August Sander, Karl Blossfeldt is considered a forerunner of the conceptual use of typologies that can be seen today in the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher.