Bruno Cassirer

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Bruno Cassirer, painted by Max Liebermann in 1921

Bruno Cassirer (born December 12, 1872 in Breslau ; died October 29, 1941 in Oxford ) was a German publisher , gallery owner and horse breeder .

Life and publishing

Bruno Cassirer was born as the second child of the Jewish couple Julius Cassirer and their cousin and wife Julcher (Julie), also née Cassirer. In 1890 Bruno Cassirer graduated from the Leibniz Gymnasium in Berlin . With his cousin Paul Cassirer , he opened the Bruno & Paul Cassirer, art and publishing company in Berlin on September 20, 1898 at the former Viktoriastraße 35 near Kemperplatz. The two founders of the publishing house were not only cousins, but also brothers-in-law at the same time, since Bruno married Paul's sister Else (1873-1943).

The painters and graphic artists Max Liebermann and Max Slevogt were among the most important contacts during the early years in Berlin . They were members of the Berlin Secession Artists' Association, which was founded on May 2, 1898 , through which the two cousins ​​got to know many important personalities in Berlin's cultural life. At the suggestion of President Liebermann and member Walter Leistikow , the Cassirers were appointed as secretaries for the Secession , which gave them a prominent position not only within the association but also on the art market. They dedicated their first gallery exhibition to the paintings of Max Liebermann, which were shown together with pictures by Edgar Degas and Constantin Meunier .

In the following three years, the art and publishing establishment set itself the main goal of establishing the impressionist art movement among the public. To this end, the cousins ​​concentrated on the works of Max Slevogt, Max Liebermann and Lovis Corinth , who, in their opinion, represented Germany's artistic avant-garde.

Board of Directors and hanging committee in preparation for the Secession exhibition in Berlin 1904, v. l. To the right: Willy Döring , Bruno Cassirer, Otto Heinrich Engel , Max Liebermann , Walter Leistikow , Kurt Herrmann, Fritz Klimsch (Federal Archives)

On August 30, 1901, Bruno and Paul dissolved their joint company due to strong personal differences. Paul Cassirer continued to run the gallery and the art trade, while Bruno Cassirer kept the publishing house with which he moved to Derfflingerstrasse 15 in Berlin-Tiergarten. Both publishers limited each other to their respective company areas until 1908. After the separation, Bruno Cassirer broke off contact with the Secession , whereas Paul was still a member and became president of the society in 1912. However, B. continued to support the association morally through his monthly Kunst und Künstler , founded in 1902 , which was shaped by Karl Scheffler as editor-in-chief from 1907 until it was discontinued by the National Socialists in 1933 .

The division of the company resulted in sustained competition between the two publishers, which was particularly noticeable in the early years of the PAN magazine , which Paul Cassirer re-founded in 1920 and which had already appeared from 1895 to 1900. Nevertheless, their publishing programs partly complemented each other (especially in the art book sector), and many artists such as Karl Walser , Rudolf Großmann , Hans Meid , but also Liebermann and Slevogt continued to work for both publishers.

Although Slevogt was also in contact with Paul Cassirer, he published most of his works with Bruno Cassirer, with whom the illustrator had a close relationship. The most important books published here, in which he tried out a new style of drawing, included fairy tales from 1001 Nights: Ali Baba and the Forty Robbers. Improvisations (1903) and Sindbad the seafarer (1907). The publisher himself not only published the artist's books, but also contributed significantly to his ideas and suggestions for shaping the graphics when they were created.

In 1903 Christian Morgenstern joined the publishing house as a literary editor , under whose direction the magazine Das Theater appeared. A total of four books by the poet during his lifetime and five more from his estate were published here.

Emil Orlik : Bruno Cassirer (left), Max Slevogt and Hans Dammann, drawing from 1928

From 1931 to 1933 Bruno Cassirer ran the Lindenhof stud north of Templin . Before buying the Lindenhof, Cassirer had already run a stud in Damsbrück . Cassirer had discovered his love for equestrian sport since 1899 and, in addition to his publishing activities, imported first-class American horses and thus became one of the most important trotter breeders in Germany. From 1913 to 1933 he was also closely associated with the Mariendorf harness racing track , as an investor and for many years as chairman of the operating association. Outstanding sire horses at Lindenhof were Colonel Bosworth and the Hambletonian winner Walter Dear , whose first son Probst wrote trotting history on an international level.

Cassirer sold the stud in 1933 in the early Nazi era . His long-time horse trainer and friend Charlie Mills took his place as the owner until 1945 , with whom Cassirer apparently concluded a gentleman's agreement , according to which Mills would take over the official management, while Cassirer continued to run the actual stud farm. Charlie Mills won the Prix ​​d'Amérique in Paris as a driver in 1934 with Cassirer's horse Walter Dear . At that time Lindenhof had 30 dam mares.

In 1936 the last book was published by Cassirer. On February 25, 1937, membership of the Reichsschrifttumskammer (RSK) was withdrawn from Jewish publishers . Part of the Cassirer family emigrated to Oxford in 1938 , where Bruno Cassirer's son-in-law Günther Hell (George Hill) continued the tradition of the publishing house and founded B. Cassirer (publ.) Ltd. B. Cassirer's efforts to rebuild the publishing house together with his editor Max Tau in England, however, failed. The first English-language books included the letter editions by Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin's Noa-Noa . The complete catalog raisonné of Goya's graphics has also been published here . The publisher, whose books are supplied by the Faber and Faber company in London, still exists today.

Publishing program

In the first few years of publishing, it was mainly Russian authors who determined the image of the company. For this purpose, the cousins ​​had acquired the rights of Dostoevsky and Gorky from S. Fischer Verlag . They also published the works of Tolstoy in a total of 15 volumes.

Another focus of the program were essential woodcut and copperplate works of the Renaissance, e.g. B. Il Trionfo Della Fede or Biblia Pauperum . The field of art and culture exhibited a broad spectrum, with writings on architecture as well as on the arts and crafts. It was an important concern of the publisher to publish the biographies and testimonies of artists. a. about Edgar Degas, Max Liebermann, Jozef Israëls or Ludwig van Beethoven . Cassirer also published quite a few titles that dealt with Impressionism, such as Émile Zola's painting or Proust's Eduard Manet. Memories . The publisher also published non-fiction books that dealt with artistic techniques such as lithography or glass painting . Cassirer was able to win over many important art scholars of the time such as Paul Kristeller , Max J. Friedländer , Max Leers and Gustav Pauli to design his publications . His books were primarily aimed at the educated and financially strong bourgeoisie who could afford the high-quality productions.

A further sector in the publisher's directory was the aesthetic literature, which, however, played a subordinate role compared to the art books. The author Robert Walser stood out in this area and published with Bruno Cassirer u. a. Siblings Tanner and Jakob von Gunten. A diary . In addition, the publisher opened a series of fairy tales that had a total of 15 titles by 1927. However, due to their elaborate furnishings, these works were intended more for collectors than for children.

Since the 1930s the house has become a center for young authors. At this time, the publisher was also considering merging with S. Fischer, which he canceled at the last minute. From 1933 many authors of Jewish origin were described as undesirable (e.g. Georg Fink = Kurt Münzer , Albert Lamm or Ludwig Winder ), whereupon B. Cassirer concentrated on the writings of Christian Morgenstern. The editor Max Tau, who joined in 1928, was able to give the publishing house a new boost thanks to his flair for talent.


Web links

Commons : Bruno Cassirer  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Barbara Falk: No Other Home: an Anglo-Jewish family in Australia 1833–1987 , Penguin Books, Melbourne, 1988.
  2. Archived copy ( memento of the original from July 6, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Lindenhof stud @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /