Events 2020

Exhibition 2020

»International Contemporary Picture Book Art«
Exhibits from the New Friedrich C. Heller Collection

24–26 January 2020 at the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair

Saturday, 25 January, 18h30:
Opening of the exhibition with a lecture by Prof. Heller

Friedrich C. Heller, known to many bibliophiles and dealers as collector and author, has dedicated his »New Collection« to the art of international picture books. A selection of books will be presented in Stuttgart, highlighting the artistic character of this unique collection. The exhibition offers an insight into an important and unusually diverse private collection in the field of book art.
All information about the exhibition and an interview with Prof. Heller can be found → here

New Format: »Das Rote Sofa«
The Red Sofa – Book Conversations on Saturday and Sunday at the fair 

Every book has its story. Dealers and collectors of books and works on paper often share the same love for literature, for books as objects, for book and art history or interesting provenances.
The new format in Stuttgart, »Das Rote Sofa« (The Red Sofa) opens up a wide range of insights into the fascinating world of rare books, autographs, prints and illustrated works through conversations between rare booksellers, collectors and authors.

Hölderlin2020 – The German Literature Archive Marbach at the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair

»Celebrating Poetry – Hölderlin (and Celan) in the Jubilee Year 2020«

Saturday, 25 January, 12h noon, »Das Rote Sofa«

In 2020, German author Friedrich Hölderlin's 250th birthday will be celebrated. Hölderlin has enriched the German language like hardly any other poet. Inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, deeply connected with classical antiquity and longing for deep connectedness between man and nature, he also pointed the way to modernity. Hölderlin's work and its impact had their starting point in Württemberg. The Hölderlin Society Tübingen, the Württembergische Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart and the German Literature Archive Marbach maintain the legacy of this outstanding linguist.

The exhibition »Hölderlin, Celan und die Sprachen der Poesie« (Hölderlin, Celan and the Languages of Poetry) will be shown during the anniversary year in Marbach; German author Paul Celan's poetry would also be different without Hölderlin's influence. Celan's 100th birthday is also commemorated in 2020. The Württembergische Landesbibliothek presents in its exhibition »Aufbrüche – Abbrüche« the most beautiful treasures from the Hölderlin estate. The presumed birthplace in Lauffen becomes accessible for the first time and the Hölderlin Tower in Tübingen is given a new permanent exhibition. The Stuttgart Rare Book Fair will celebrate Hölderlin and Celan with a large number of bibliophilic treasures. 

Dr. Jan Bürger and Dr. Thomas Schmidt in conversation with Angelika Elstner about Hölderlin's and Celan's works, their undiminished ability to inspire and the Hölderlin Jubilee Year 2020.

Dr. Jan Bürger is a literary scholar and writer. Working at the The German Literature Archive Marbach since 2002, he is the Head of the Siegfried Unseld Archive, Deputy Head of the Archival Department and responsible for the literary programme. In 2013, his longseller »Der Neckar. A literary journey« was published. 

Dr. Thomas Schmidt is a literary scholar and curator. Working at the The German Literature Archive Marbach since 2006, he is the Head of the Coordination Centre for Literary Museums in Baden-Württemberg, Coordinator of the Hölderlin Jubilee Year 2020 and Curator of the HölderlinTower Tübingen.


International Contemporary Picture Book Art – A creative combination of books and art 

Saturday, 25 January, 3 pm, »Das Rote Sofa«

Friedrich C. Heller, book lover and passionate collector of, among other things, artistic picture books, is presenting a selection of his collection to a larger audience for the first time in 2020 during the Antiquariatsmesse Stuttgart in the exhibition »Internationale BilderBuchKunst der Gegenwart«. Only rarely does the connection between book and art become so clear as in this genre of book design. Visitors, whether children or adults, will be captivated by this wide variety of artistic techniques; an ideal counterpoint to the digital age.

Rare bookseller Sabine Keune, who has been instrumental in shaping this unique collection for many years, talks to Friedrich C. Heller about the fascination of the »book« as an object, outstanding book designers and the artistic creativity that is so characteristic for artists' picture books.

»Au Pont de l’Europe«
 – A formerly exhibit from Stuttgart writes history  

Sunday, 26 January, 12 noon, »Das Rote Sofa«  

From 1933 to 1940, the »Librairie Au Pont de l'Europe« in Rue Vignon 17 in Paris was a refuge for artists and writers who had emigrated from Nazi Germany. Names such as Alfred Döblin, Lion Feuchtwanger, André Gide, Heinrich und Klaus Mann, Anna Seghers, Robert Musil, Marlene Dietrich or Gertrude Stein bore witness to the eventful history of a bookshop that did not only build a bridge between the two nations in its name. After its closure in 1940 and the emigration of its founder Ferdinand Ostertag, only its guest book remembered the history of the bookshop and was eventually acquired over 20 years ago in Stuttgart by bookseller Herbert Blank. Together with his wife Inge Thöns (1940–2014), he reconstructed the story behind the guestbook, traced Ferdinand Ostertag and his customers through their time in exile and by doing this, wrote a piece of German literary and book trade history himself (published by Wallstein Verlag in 2018).

Herbert Blank, exhibitor at the Antiquariatsmesse Stuttgart for the 50th consecutive time, will talk to Barbara van Benthem about »Au Pont de l'Europe« and his ongoing fascination for rare books and manuscripts beyond the age of 90.

»Bookstagram« or the Longevity of Paper – The award ceremony for the Young Collectors Prize 2020 #sammlerpreis2020 

Sunday, 26 January, 15h, »Das Rote Sofa«

For the first time this year, the Verband Deutscher Antiquare, in cooperation with the bibliophile society »Maximilian-Gesellschaft für alte und neue Buchkunst« and the magazine »Aus dem Antiquariat«, will award a prize for young collectors endowed with 1000 €.

Also in the age of social media, printed books, prints, autographs and works on paper have not lost their appeal. On the contrary, especially Instagram or Pinterest, have created new opportunities to express a love for books and printed matter and allow booklovers to present their own favourite pieces or purchases.

Rare books and young people are not a contradiction in terms. For a younger generation, social media are part of everyday life. Nevertheless, the generation of the "millenials" appreciates things analogue and the idea of sustainability; this has been visible for some time in various industries, including the arts and also the rare book trade.

What does the next generation collect? How do our worlds be connect? Are they exclusive or are social media just one way of showing the beauty of books, writing, images, photography? 

The Verband Deutscher Antiquare asked these questions and in 2019, for the first time, announced a prize for young collectors (up to the age of 35), which will be awarded on the 26th of January 2020 at the Antiquariatsmesse Stuttgart.

Angelika Elstner in conversation with the winner of the 2020 Young Collectors Prize. 

More information on the German Young Collectors Prize → here. (German language)


Guided Tours & Demonstrations

Kultur.LIVE – Guided Tours around the Fair 

Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 January, 2pm, Info Desk of the Verband Deutscher Antiquare e.V.

Guided tours are offered at the fair for interested visitors. Exhibitors will show their most remarkable exhibits and some exceptional pieces. 

 – Guided Tours for Students 

Saturday, 25 January, 4pm, Info Desk of the Verband Deutscher Antiquare e.V.

For many years, the Verband Deutscher Antiquare has offered students of the Stuttgart-based Media University, Hochschule der Medien, a guided tour of the fair; other students are very welcome to join. Further guided tours are available on request. Please → contact us in advance of the fair.

The Art of Handmade Paper 

Friday to Sunday, 24 to 26 January, Stand 41

Whether used as bookbinding material and endpaper, as lining for slipcases and boxes, coloured paper is one of the unagitated, almost secret, yet endearing pleasures of a bibliophile. From valuable brocade paper to the popular marble to the modern stencil spray paper, the range of types and techniques reaches across time. This old craft is still practiced today: Graphic artist Ulrike Grießmayr will be giving an insight into the art of coloured paper at her stand.

Book Restoration

Friday to Sunday, 24 to 26 January, Stand 33

Every collector and booksellers likes to see a well preserved binding. Unfortunately many books show damages or are not rebound properly, so that a new binding typical for its period seems a necessary and sensible option.
Bookbinder Hannah Loibl presents works in paper, leather and parchment and gives insights into the possibilities of restoring damaged old bindings. She also shows various examples of dust jackets as well as book cassettes, boxes and slipcases which can provide effective yet elegant protection for a book.



Verband Deutscher Antiquare e.V.

Geschäftsstelle: Norbert Munsch
Seeblick 1, 56459 Elbingen
Fon +49 (0)6435 909147
Fax +49 (0)6435 909148
E-Mail buch[at]antiquare[dot]de