Leipzig's Reading Girl
An image comes to mind, "The Reading Girl" by the German painter Henning from the year 1828. Its simplicity and calm has made this artwork stand out and be reproduced many times. It is one of the major attractions of the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts "Bildermuseum".
Today, 8th March, is International Women’s Day. Has it become another PR event, another “hashtag” or does it still mean anything to us? Access to education for women, access to literature, women’s rights, equality?
An image comes to mind, “The Reading Girl” by the German painter Henning from the year 1828. Its simplicity and calm has made this artwork stand out and be reproduced many times. It is one of the major attractions of the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts “Bildermuseum”. The city of Leipzig was once the capital of the German book trade, but WWII and the Soviet occupation led to the majority of book firms leaving the city.
However, Gutenberg still stands over the main square right opposite the Leipzig town hall. Leipzig, a city of printers and booksellers, of publishing houses, and their books that started their journey across Germany and Europe from here. A city of authors, illustrators, engravers, binders or map makers. A city of trade.
Through the decades of a divided Germany, the city kept running the book fair, a haven for many intellectuals who would find their only source for Western literature there. Exhibiting West German publishing houses never planned to take any books back home after the fair. Also it was in Leipzig, that the peaceful revolution of 1989 started its course.
Almost thirty years on, the Leipzig Book Fair is now a large modern consumer book fair and host to Europe’s largest reading festival in spring each year. It is also host to the Leipzig Antiquarian Book Fair which runs this year from 23 – 26 March with 48 exhibitors listed to date, mainly from Germany but also Zurich, Vienna and Paris. Back in 1995, as one of the first modern book fairs and in an unusual move, the organisers in Leipzig acknowledged the importance of rare books for the city and the depth it would bring to this fair.
We look forward to Leipzig this year, rare books or modern books. May the many book events (3700 events in 571 locations) inspire young girls and young boys alike!
To visit the Bildermuseum in Leipzig, go here for more info.
For all info about the 23rd Leipzig Antiquarian Book Fair, please go here.