Drawing and writing on blank, folded and stapled sheets of paper has been part of the artistic practice for centuries. Fleeting, spontaneous sketches as well as elaborate studies but also written notes record what is seen, experienced and thought. Here the artist can be completely free, formulate ideas, design compositions, record memories or experiment around.
The Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings holds a unique collection of around 120 such designated notebooks and books. Most of them are by 19th century German artists, from Carstens to Wilhelm Busch. Generously funded by the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation and the Ernst von Siemens Foundation as part of the “Kunst auf Lager [Art in Stock]” initiative, they have been restored, sustainably conserved and digitised since 2018.