Graphic Witness: visual arts & social commentary[A. Paul Weber]
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A. Paul Weber
[Rumor, 1938] Rumor, 1938
A. Paul Weber (1893-1980) had a long career as both an illustrator and caricaturist. He was born in Arnstadt Germany, where he received his early education. He studied art in Erfurt prior to World War I.
  • 1911-1913 - His first efforts at commercial art
  • 1914-1918 - He is a caricaturist and draftsman for one of the German army newspapers [illustration from Hans Sachs, 1919]
  • 1917 - The start of his career as a book illustrator. Among his earliest illustrations were small books published between 1919-1922 containing short stories by Hans Sachs (1494-1576), a poet and composer, idealized as the title character in Richard Wagner's opera, Die Meistersinger von Nürenberg
  • 1920 - He marries; of his five children, his son Christian will become a printer with Clan-Presse, a printing/publishing workshop Weber will found in 1925.
  • 1928-1937 - He is involved with a socialist opposition group that has gathered around Ernst Niekisch, with connections to numerous other anti-Nazi individuals and groups. [drum beat]
  • 1931-1934 - With Niekisch as editor, he publishes the magazine Widerstand (variously translated as "Resistance" or "Opposition") and until 1936, works on books published by Widerstand Editions.
  • 1935 - Weber and Niekisch travel to Italy
  • 1936-1980 - Weber is involved with the Drawing Arts Union in Hamburg, an organization led by Johannes Bose and Arich Arp.
  • 1937 - In connection with the prosecution by the Nazi government of the "Resistance" group, he is detained (imprisoned?) in Hamburg, Berlin and Nurnberg.
  • Winter of 1938-1939 - in Florida
  • 1943 - Weber participates in an short-lived art exhibition held in Vienna.
  • 1944-1945 - Defense service with German army
  • 1947-1980 - various exhibitions of his work in Germany and abroad; particularly large exhibitions in Reykjavik (1977) and Bonn (1978).
  • 1954-1967 - Weber contributes artwork to a German magazine of graphic satire begun in the 19th Century, Simplicissimus
  • 1955 - awarded the Art Prize for Schleswig-Holstein
  • 1959-1981 - Weber's series of "Critic's Calender" books [Kritischer Kalender] are published by Clan-Presse.

    [The Mirror, c. 1946] By the 1930's Weber had incorporated into his own work the prankster/magician/Wise Fool persona of Tyl Ulenspiegel, a fictional folk hero, recounted in Northern European folktales. It is no coincidence that the Ulenspiegel character arose out of the bloody religious wars and persecutions of the 16th century. The name "Ulenspiegel" connotes one who holds up a mirror, an unsparing reflection of reality. The adventures of this completely fictitious figure, wearing the customary three-belled hat of the court jester or fool, were organized in the mid-19th century in the form of a folk-tale turned epic novel, by Charles de Coster (1827-1879). A 1943 edition, translated into English by Allan Ross Macdougall was illustrated by Frans Masereel.

    [Deutsches Verhängnis, 1932] [View of Windsor] Weber's work leaves no doubt about the folly of following the leadership of the National Socialist Party to war in the 1932 image [left], Deutsches Verhängnis [Germany's Fate]. He illustrates the inequities and evils of class/caste traditions, and skewers human foibles in all their diverse forms [right].

    [Jedem das Seine, 1963] The 1963 image titled Jedem das Seine is variously translated as "you get what you deserve," or, "to each his own." This same phrase is set in wrought-iron letters on the entry gate to the concentration camp, Buchenwald.

    See also the A. PAUL WEBER - MUSEUM with pages in English and German. (Links to images on the English page may not be active, but they are active on the German pages) and The Illustrated Enemy.
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