Folkwang Auriga Verlag & Archiv


In 1902, the Folkwang Museum was founded by Karl-Ernst Osthaus in Hagen. Osthaus had created a vast museum collection and in 1919 he appointed author and philosopher Ernst Fuhrmann (German, 1886–1956) as head of the Folkwang Verlag (Folkwang Publishers) and the affiliated Folkwang Archiv. Both institutions had close connections to the museum. After Osthaus’ death in 1921, the museum collection was sold to the city of Essen, and most shares of the publishing house were sold to various buyers. Fuhrmann however founded the Auriga Verlag (Auriga Publishers, “auriga” being the Latin translation of the name Fuhrmann) in 1923, continuing in the tradition and in the spirit of the Folkwang Verlag. Until 1935 the publishing house was devoted mainly to photographic books about nature, flora, and folklore, like Die Welt der Pflanze (Volumes 1-4, 1924–1931) and Die Pflanze als Lebewesen (1930). Fuhrmann employed several photographers who produced photos of plants and macrophotography, among them Albert Renger-Patzsch, Lotte Jacobi, Fred Koch and Else Thalemann. After the publishing house was closed in 1933 by the National Socialist regime, he continued the photo archive as the Folkwang-Archiv in Berlin. Fuhrmann emigrated to the US in 1938.