The catalogue "Lyonel Feininger. Photographs, 1928-1939" that accompanies the exhibition with the same title has been awarded with the German Photo Book Prize in Gold 2012. Did you expect the book to be that successful?
LM: Since Feininger is otherwise so well known, I thought that people would be intrigued by his photographic work and am thrilled that the catalogue has received such a positive response.
Your catalogue has been praised as being reserved in its presentation for this well-known Bauhaus artist. Which were the basic criteria for the book regarding the format and graphic presentation?
LM: The book’s designer, Katie Andresen, and I worked together to come up with a design that seemed appropriate for the material. We liked the idea of a smaller format, not only because it suggested the size of the photographs, but also reflected the private nature of Feininger’s photographic activities.
How did you select Feininger’s photographs – there are over 18,000 negatives and slides at the Busch-Reisinger Museum’s Lyonel Feininger Archive – for the catalogue?
LM: The majority of Feininger’s existing vintage prints (about 500) are in the collection of Harvard’s Houghton Library and the exhibition is drawn primarily from that material (we did not make any new prints from the negatives). The prints mostly date from the late 1920s and 1930s when Feininger had regular access to a darkroom. In making the selection, I wanted to represent the range of subjects and diversity of approaches that he was experimenting with during this period and then organized the photographs into sections such as Bauhaus experiments, Baltic Coast, shop windows, and so on. In addition to the works from Harvard, the exhibition is supplemented by key loans from the Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin, the Stiftung Moritzburg, Kunstmuseum des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a handful of private collections.