The Giedion World
Sigfried Giedion and Carola Giedion-Welcker in Dialogue
The Giedion Universe: An introduction to the work, significance and impact, and estate of two of modernism's most distinguished scholars—on 420 pages with 198 color illustrations featuring 630 documents, objects, and photographs
1st edition, 2019
420 pages, 198 color illustrations
22 x 33 cm
Sigfried Giedion (1888–1968) and Carola Giedion-Welcker (1893–1979) were among the most distinguished and influential scholars of art and architectual history during the 20th century’s earlier dacades. Of particular impact was their role in connecting leading protagonists of modernism in architecture, art, and literature, such as Alvar Aalto, Hans Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Breuer, Max Ernst, Walter Gropius, Barbara Hepworth, Le Corbusier, László Moholy-Nagy, Piet Mondrian, or Sophie Taeuber-Arp. The discourses they initiated, for example on the New Vision in photography or a “Synthesis of Arts,“ have lost nothing of their relevance and provide new starting points until the present day.
The estate of Sigfried and Carola Giedion-Welcker is today kept in Zurich at ETH Zurich’s Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, the Swiss Isntitute for Art Research, the University of Zurich’s Institute of Romance Studies, and the James Joyce Foundation. It comprises some 16,000 letters, 10,000 photographic prints and negatives, a wealth of other papers, and a vast library.
This new book offers a revaluation of Sigfried and Carola Giedion-Welcker work, impact, and lasting significance. Editor and contributors were the first to draw fully on the estate, which has been opened entirely to researchers only recently. Featuring a vast number of previously unpublished documents and other images alongside excerpts from the extensive correspondence the two maintained with their artist friends and colleagues in academia, it provides a unique and manifold insight into the “Giedion universe.”
"Books can be so informative, so thoughtful, so attractively designed. This illustrated book about the Giedions, that magnificent couple of modern art and design history, is certainly one of the most successful publications in this field we have seen for a Iong time. This book is a benchmark: for how a productive life can be narrated—with historical documents and personal letters; with photographs that do not isolate images and books, furniture and materials, but present them in an everyday context, as objects of intellectual as weil as practical use." Jörg Stürzebecher, form magazine