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Bokkonstnären Akke Kumlien: tradition och modernitet, konstnärsidentitet och konstnärsroll
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Art History.
1994 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this dissertation is to illuminate the relationship between the book artist Akke Kumlien (1884-1949) and various ideas about the design of books and printed letters, and to describe the evolution of Kumlien’s artistic identity and professional role. The study is based partly on primary and secondary sources and, to a greater extent, on books as objects, and in particular books published by Norstedts Förlag roughly between 1915 and 1950. A first section includes a terminological survey of concepts such as typography and the art of the book, and a description of the background to this art in those countries from which Kumlien drew important inspiration or to which his influence can be traced. A section entitled ”Akke Kumliens väg” (Akke Kumlien’s career) is arranged chronologically. Various factors are discussed which explain the artist’s choice of direction; his career at P. A. Norstedt & Söner, the printing and publishing house which he joined in 1916 as artistic adviser on typographical matters, is also described. The period 1916-1920 was decisive to Kumlien’s role in helping to build up a corporate profile, which combined the company’s earlier traditions with an interest in literary publishing that was at least partly new. The calligraphy of Kumlien’s covers and the French Cochin fount were important ingredients in this corporate profile. Around 1930 functionalism experienced a breakthrough in Sweden, and in some quarters a radical revision can be observed in perceptions of the general nature and ideal form of the book. The concept of the book as an intellectual creation is played down, and instead its function and its character as a product are emphasized. The influence of advertising on book design becomes more evident, and the discreet decorative classicism which had been Kumlien’s hallmark is called in question. Although the sharp polarization between traditionalism and functionalism gradually subsided, Kumlien as a traditionalist subsequently adopted a somewhat defensive position. The section entitled ”Teoretiska och tematiska perspektiv” (Theoretical and thematic perspectives) is primarily concerned with various ideas about tradition and about the aesthetics of the book and of printed characters, which were relevant to Kumlien and his contemporaries. This line of thought leads on to the section entitled ”Akke Kumliens verk i närmare belysning” (A closer examinution of Akke Kumlien’s work), in which books, type design, bindings and utility production are discussed in turn. Particular attention is paid to Kumlien’s designs for works of imaginative literature and to such themes as his calligraphy and his treatment of book ornament and pictorial elements. In conclusion an attempt is made to interpret the special dynamics of the interaction between Kumlien’s professional role and his identity as an artist.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Norstedt , 1994. , p. 272
Keywords [sv]
Kumlien, Akke, 1884-1949, Bokkonst, Sverige, 1900-talet, Bokkonstnärer, Typografi, Grafisk formgivning
National Category
Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158619Libris ID: 7156376ISBN: 91-1-932182-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158619DiVA, id: diva2:1238201
Public defence
1994-04-16, Sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Frescati, Stockholm, 10:00
Note

Med sammanfattning på engelska

Available from: 2018-08-13 Created: 2018-08-13 Last updated: 2019-11-13Bibliographically approved

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