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Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

Masterpieces of the Gipsformerei

Art manufactury of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin since 1819

Throughout the nineteenth century, hand-painted plaster replicas of historical objects were manufactured for use in museums that sought to bring together all the world’s masterpieces under one roof. Among the oldest and largest manufacturers was the Replica Workshop in Berlin, whose supply of plaster casts now comprises more than seven thousand sculptures that continue to be produced for museums and private collections through the use of artistry and workmanship handed down over generations.
Plasterwork Masterpieces pays tribute to the art of plaster casting through a carefully curated catalog of the workshop’s most admired sculptures from art and archaeology, including the Laocoön Group and Rodin’s famed The Thinker. Opening an important Berlin institution to the public, the works included here offer a fascinating journey through the various cultures from antiquity to the present.

144 pages | 100 halftones | 8 x 10 1/2 | © 2012

Art: Art--General Studies

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Table of Contents


Prehistory and Early History
    A Short History of the Plaster Cast until 1819
    Born from the Mould: The Genesis of Gipsformerei
Ancient Near East
    How Is a Plaster Cast Made?
    Of Copied Originals and Original Copies
From around the World
    Crocodiles, Renaissance Princesses and Greek Gods: The Inventory of the Gipsformerei through the Ages
The Middle Ages and the Renaissance
    Destroyed, Lost, Stolen—and Still Not Completely Lost: The Gipsformerei as an Art Archive
The 19th Century

Historic Price Lists and Catalogues of the Gipsformerei
Reference Literature
Photographic Credits

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