The Klingspor-Museum Offenbach is a museum for Modern International Book Art, Typography and Calligraphy.
On 7. November 1953 the Klingspor-Museum opened its doors to visitors the first time. During the post-war years the City of Offenbach am Main founded a small museum for the art of modern book production and typography. The basis of the museum was the valuable collection of books of Dr. h.c. Karl Klingspor (1868–1950), who together with his brother Wilhelm operated a typefoundry in the first half of the 20th century in Offenbach am Main.
Notable artists like Otto Eckmann, Peter Behrens, Rudolf Koch, Walter Tiemann, Rudo Spemann, Imre Reiner, Hans Bohn and Karlgeorg Hoefer designed typefaces for the company. The firm’s high artistic typesettings were exported to printers around the globe from its location in the Offenbacher Ludwigstrasse; the Gebrüder Klingspor type foundry was world reknowned.
In 1927 at the International Book Art Fair in Leipzig, the private book collection of Dr. Karl Klingspor was exhibited as the “Room of a bibliophile” and much admired. To this day his collection of 100 books bound in leather by the bookbinder Ignatz Wiemeler is an invaluable gem of the Klingspor-Museum.
Shortly after establishment of the museum, the first important donations arrived. The families of Rudolf Koch (1876–1934) and Rudo Spemann (1905–1947) gave entire collections inherited from their estates, and the young museum soon became the central collecting point for modern typographic art. The expressive calligraphy, tapestries with types and book production of Rudolf Koch and his former students are evidence of a lively Offenbach School of Calligraphy of the 20th century.
The Klingspor-Museum owns a large part of the work of Ernst Schneidler (1882–1956), who founded the Stuttgart School. His students are also present, with works of Rudo Spemann, Werner Bunz, Georg Trump and Eva Aschoff. Vienna is represented by the unique collection of Rudolf von Larisch. The Klingspor Museum in Offenbach holds the largest collection outside of the Netherlands of work of the greatest Dutch printer and typographer Hendrik Nikolaas Werkman (1882–1945); with his experimental periodical “The Next Call” from 1923 to 1926 he was one of the most influential avant-garde typographer of the century.
Permanent and changing exhibitions with valuable items from the museum's own collections, as well as loans from artists and collectors, show the variety of the 20th century book and printing art on an international level
Visitors from all over the world come to Offenbach to see the exhibitions and the extensive collections of the modern book and typographical art. The library of the museum also boasts a number of tables where the collections can be worked with.