Bamberg State Library’s exhibition Joseph Heller and the Art of Collecting is reminiscent of an, not only regionally important, art collector and artist in collecting. At the same time, it presents the results of a research project dedicated to Heller.
A legacy in the heart of Bamberg
The Bamberg art scholar and collector Joseph Heller (1798–1849) declared the then Royal Library to the heir to his valuable art objects, reference library and written documents. In August 1851 the extensive and cross-genre modern papers were succesfully taken over. Heller is still considered to be one of the most important patrons of Bamberg State Library. A DFG-project carried out together with the German Documentation Center for Art History – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg and the Head Office of the Bavarian Library Network has been pursuing the goal of replicating the historical order of Heller’s collection digitally and making it accessible to everyone since 2017. A bundle of significant prints and drawings including works by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553) and Hans Holbein the Elder (1460–1524), were selected for this.
Library history in valuable originals
In Bamberg State Library’s Sterngewölbe the focus lies on the collector Heller and his mentor Heinrich Joachim Jaeck (1777–1847), who was library director at the time, and they even have a say there. Their lifelong friendship, strengthened by a trip that lead them through Germany, Austria and Italy in 1821, is retraced through the exhibits that were acquired along the way. The Scagliolasaal shows the library’s handling of the rich legacy. A media table expands the view on digital copies, including brief scientific descriptions, that were created in the course of the research project. Far more objects from Heller‘s modern papers can be seen here than could be presented in the exhibition rooms, and their connections to each other can be traced as well. In the reading room selected books reveal Heller’s lively publishing activity. They invite visitors to browse, to trace the focus of Heller’s collection and his areas of interest, which have not lost their relevance to this day.
Find out more about Joseph Heller and his art of collecting! Immerse yourself in his art world kept in Bamberg State Library!
Jospeph Heller’s Treasures on the Internet
The State Library presents one of the early focuses of Heller’s collection in the Bamberg Treasures, the prints and drawings by and according to Albrecht Dürer. Those interested can trace the sheet history of over 2000 works of art, including various states and sheet montages specific to this collection, on the basis of the freely usable, high-resoultion digital copies. Supplemented by brief scientific descriptions the works are linked to the books from Heller’s reference library as well as manuscripts and notes from his modern papers, which sheds light on the genesis and publication history of each graphic.
Accompanying Publication as an Interactive E-Book
Joseph Heller und die Kunst des Sammelns. Ein Vermächtnis im Herzen Bambergs – that’s the title of an interactive e-book, which is freely available online. The book gathers essays by several experts that bring the reader along on a journey into Joseph Heller’s "art world". It presents the collector as well as the genesis of his collection, the intention and task of Heller’s modern papers, the DFG-project and – using selected objects from the collection – some of the research potential hidden in Bamberg State Library. Linked image and literature sources lead directly into the digital collections, first and foremost those of the State Library. Each and every click opens up a way to object-specific information and further reading.
The accompanying publication is also available as a printed edition in bookshops at a price of € 28.50:
Ehrl, Franziska/ Juntunen, Eveliina: Joseph Heller und die Kunst des Sammelns. Ein Vermächtnis im Herzen Bambergs. Bamberg, 2020. ISBN 978-3-86309-723-3 (catalogue).
Overview of information
Bamberg State Library
27th September until 18th December 2021
Monday to Friday
Closed on Sundays and 1st November 2021
|Entry||Free of charge|
|Audioguide for your smartphone||MP3, Available free of charge on site via BayernWLAN|
Every Thursday, 17:00
Meeting place in the entrance area of the library
|Special tours for groups|
No registration necessary, free of charge via Zoom
Saturday, 25th September 2021, 19:00
Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 19:00
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 19:00
|Flyer||PDF, 2 pages|
|Curator||Dr. Franziska Ehrl (Heidelberg)|