The biological field guide “Exkursionsflora” was released in 1952 by the East-Berlin publisher “Volk und Wissen” and quickly became one of the GDR’s few international bestsellers.
In collaboration with countless staff members, the biology professor Werner Rothmaler from Greifswald has worked on this extensive registry for years – the development of an image archive with more than 2 500 drawings of plants kept a team of 18 illustrators busy for nearly a decade. Rothmaler himself focused on the categorisation and nomenclature.
This reinterpretation of “Exkursionsflora” stresses the enormous wealth of information and contrasts its original workmanship. The almost artfully systematised plant names take over the prominent positions of the drawings. A practical textbook becomes a monolithic book object.
The only exhaustive text on Rothmaler’s life is his funeral eulogy, perhaps ten pages long. In an additional zine, it is being reprinted and interwoven with short notes on the development of “Exkursionsflora”.
Course “Der Blumenstrauß” (Bauhaus University Weimar)
Summer Semester 2016
Supervised by Anna Teuber, B.A. and Enno Pötschke, B.A.
Photos: Jannis Uffrecht