As the world’s most renowned plaster casting workshop turns two hundred, this book celebrates the extraordinary history of the Gipsformerei in Berlin.
For the last two centuries the Gipsformerei-or Reproduction Workshop-in Berlin has produced outstanding plaster cast replicas of some of the most famous works in the history of sculpture. Still in operation today, it is one of the oldest and most expansive institutions of its kind. Its archives hold several thousand original master models and molds-of artworks and artifacts up to 25,000 years old. To celebrate the Gipsformerei’s anniversary, this book explores the cultural history of the casting technique that has been carefully perfected by the workshop. As one of the world’s oldest artistic techniques, plaster casting has been used by artists from antiquity to the present to depict life. This book focuses on casts of animals and plants, European death masks and life casts, as well as sculptural masterpieces and contemporary works of art. Featuring more than two hundred extraordinary sculptures and objects from the collection of the Gipsformerei, complemented by pieces from international collections, this publication is one of the first to showcase the casts as works of art in their own right.