Kurt Wolff Verlag
Starr Figura, German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Book publishing house founded by literary historian Kurt Wolff in 1913. Highly significant publisher of Expressionist literature in Germany. Launched the inexpensive "New Writing" series Der Jüngste Tag (The Last Judgment), introducing new authors probing the zeitgeist. Wolff took a new direction after his return from military service, adding art department focused on print publishing and art historical publications in 1917; enlisted German bibliophile Hans Mardersteig and art historian Carl Georg Heise to serve as editors of a new modern art and literary periodical, Genius. Issued in three volumes between 1919 and 1921, Genius featured original prints, most by Expressionists, including Erich Heckel, Karl Hofer, Franz Marc, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, among others. Also published several landmark illustrated books by artists including Oskar Kokoschka (Die träumenden Knaben [The Dreaming Boys], 1917, and Karl Kraus's Die chinesische Mauer [The Chinese wall], 1914), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (Georg Heym's Umbra vitae [Shadow of life], 1924), and Paul Klee (Voltaire's Kandide, 1920); as well as important print portfolios by Ludwig Meidner (Streets and Cafés, 1916), Hugo Steiner-Prag (The Golem, 1916), and Schmidt-Rottluff (Christ, 1918). Liquidated in 1930 due to economic difficulties. After living in France and Italy from 1931 to 1941, Wolff emigrated to New York and played a vital role as exile publisher of European literature in the United States.
Ermarth, Michael, ed. Kurt Wolff: A Portrait in Essays and Letters. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
Göbel, Wolfram. Der Kurt Wolff Verlag 1913–1930: Expressionismus als verleger-ische Aufgabe. Munich: Buch & Media, 2000.
Weidle, Barbara, ed. Kurt Wolff: Ein Literat und Gentleman. Bonn: Weidle, 2007.