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Lessing, Julius

    Full Name: Lessing, Julius

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1843

    Date Died: 1908

    Home Country/ies: Germany


    Kunstgewerbemuseum director in Berlin. Lessing hired the young Alfred Lichtwark to be his assistant even before Lichtwark had completed his Ph.D. In 1894 Lessing published his “Neue Wege” article in the journal Kunstgewerbeblatt, praising new materials in architecture. Lessing was a strong exponent of modern materials worthy of appreciation for themselves. His visits to the 1876 Philadelphia and 1889 Paris expositions impressed upon him the value of steel girders as harbingers of the new age and not, as the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, something to hic behind useless beaux-arts trappings.

    Selected Bibliography

    edited, Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums; nebst einer Auswahl seiner kleineren Schriften. Berlin, L. Heimann, 1870; Alt orientalische Teppichmuster, nach Bildern und Originalen des xv-xvi Jahrhunderts gezeichnet Berlin: E. Wasmuth 1877, English, Ancient Oriental Carpet Patterns after Pictures and Originals of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. London: H. Sotheran & Co., 1879; Was ist ein altes Kunstwerk werth? Vortrag gehalten in der Volkswirthschaftlichen gesellschaft zu Berlin am 14. Marz 1885. Berlin: Simion, 1885; “Neue Wege.” Kunstgewerbeblatt new series 6 (October 1894): 1-5; Die gewebe-Sammlung des K. Kunstgewerbe-museums, im amtlichen Auftrag. 11 vols. Berlin: E. Wasmuth a.-g., 1900.


    Kay, Carolyn Helen. Art and the German Bourgeoisie: Alfred Lichtwark and Modern Painting in Hamburg, 1886-1914. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002, p. 13; Anderson, Sanford. “Modern Architecture and Industry: Peter Behrens and the AEG Factories.” in Hays, Michael K. ed. Oppositions Reader: Selected Readings from a Journal for Ideas and Criticism in Architecture, 1973-1984. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998 p. 546, note 12.


    "Lessing, Julius." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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