Collecting rare books and works on paper - in spite of and particularly during this time of lockdown
For the first time in its 60 year history, the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair, always held in January in the South-German city of Stuttgart and well established with international collectors and the trade, had to be cancelled and as many other international events in the rare book trade, will now take place as a virtual fair instead of a physical one. After the Verband Deutscher Antiquare (Association of German Antiquarian Booksellers), organiser of Germany's leading fair for the rare book trade, cancelled the physical fair as early as August 2020 due to legal restrictions but also so as not to endanger exhibitors or visitors, an alternative had to be found.
As every year, a printed catalogue has again been published for the 2021 edition; highly appreciated by customers and a commitment to printing and the history of the book, which is deeply embedded in German culture. In addition, a digital solution was sought for the trade and customers, so book and art collectors could browse and buy rare books, maps, prints or autographs this January.
For this reason, the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair will take place from 29 January - 1 February 2021 in the form of a virtual fair but also with a significantly expanded printed catalogue.
76 dealers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but also from Australia, the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands and France, all members of the German booksellers association or affiliated to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, will offer treasures of book printing and works on paper both on the specially developed virtual fair platform and the aforementioned printed catalogue.
Whether Dante, whose anniversary of death is celebrated for the 700th time in 2021, early printing, groundbreaking historical figures and works of medicine, politics and philosophy, literature and art up to the present day, the catalogue of the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair shows the entire range of the rare book trade.
Link to the catalogue: https://www.yumpu.com/s/CIMRY5ZultVAkDgS
The "Red Sofa" series of talks successfully kicked off in January 2020 and were scheduled to continue in 2021. Due to the cancellation of the physical fair, it was only natural to move the "Red Sofa" talks to the internet. Since October 2020, discussions with authors, rare booksellers and representatives of the trade took place in the run-up to the fair and allowed for dialogue in a virtual space.
The talks will continue right up to the fair when German and international rare booksellers and galleries will present selected highlights of the Fair in a live conversation on 20th and 27th January 2021.
Registrations are now open on the website under the following link: https://www.antiquariatsmesse-stuttgart.de/de/veranstaltungen
The virtual fair will go live on 29th January 2021 at 12 noon, the same time when the annual physical fair would open, and will close again on Monday, 1 February 2021 at midnight. From the start of the fair, customers will be able to move from stand to stand, browse by author and subject area or do specific research using a full-text search. The virtual fair does not process direct sales; these are made directly through the dealer.
"In these, for all of us, very unsettling, uncertain and unusual times, we need continuity and consistency. Digital options are available and offer a welcome alternative. Worldwide, numerous art and rare book fairs have moved into the virtual space and the success shows that a large part of our customers support this move," says Sibylle Wieduwilt, Chairwoman of the Association.
Link to the virtual fair - launch on 29 January 2021: www.antiquariatsmesse-stuttgart.de
Exhibitors and organisers have found a wonderful alternative to allow customers and the trade to visit this popular German fair with its international exhibitors and range of material and be inspired in times of lockdown.