Guide to the Gustav Klemp World War I German graphic materials collection C0250 Gustav Klemp World War I German graphic materials

Guide to the Gustav Klemp World War I German graphic materials collection C0250

Gustav Klemp World War I German graphic materials


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George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center

Fenwick Library, MS2FL
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Business Number: 703-993-2220
Fax Number: 703-993-8911
speccoll@gmu.edu
URL: https://scrc.gmu.edu

Elizabeth Beckman

Repository
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center
Identification
C0250
Title
Gustav Klemp World War I German graphic materials collection 1901-1922
Quantity
0.5 Linear Feet, 2 boxes
Creator
Klemp, Gustav
Language
German , Hungarian , Polish .
Summary
Contains certificates, postcards, artwork, and a notebook by Gustav Klemp (1882-1941), an artist and German army medic during the First World War.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Gustav Klemp World War I German graphic materials collection must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Access Restrictions

The notebook in Series 5 is restricted due to preservation concerns. There are no other restrictions.

Alternative Form Available

The majority of this collection was digitized and is available here.

Preferred Citation

Gustav Klemp World War I German graphic materials collection, C0250, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Klemp's grandson, Richard Passig, in September 2014. Additional material in Series 2-5 donated by Richard Passig in February and March 2015.

Processing Information

Processing completed by Elizabeth Beckman in November 2014. EAD markup completed by Elizabeth Beckman in November 2014. Finding aid updated by Amanda Brent in March 2022.


Biographical note

Gustav Klemp (1882-1941) was an artist from West Prussia in what was Germany until 1919 and is now western Poland. He was a member of the Deutschen Maler-Bundes (German Painters' Association). Klemp was in his mid-thirties at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and he served as a medic with the German Army. He sent a number of postcards from the Eastern front to his wife, Martha Klemp, and he also painted watercolors that portrayed camp life, landscapes of the war and troops. After the war and the creation of an independent Poland, he and his family were given the decision to become Polish citizens or emigrate. They emigrated to the United States and settled in the upper midwest, first in Iowa and then in Wisconsin. Klemp made his living in the United States primarily by painting murals for churches. He died in May 1941, six months before the United States entered World War II.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 2 certificates, 96 postcards, 27 artworks, 4 medallions, and one journal that primarliy document people and places during World War I, particularly German soldiers on the Eastern Front. Many of the postcards are group portraits of soldiers in military uniforms. Several have messages from Gustav Klemp (the primary recipient was his wife, Martha Klemp) and postmarks from areas along the Eastern Front, such as Russia, Poland, and Romania. One postcard from page 15 is postmarked Lautenburg on August 15, 1914, suggesting that Klemp may have been present at the nearby Battle of Tannenberg later that month. The artworks consist of both drawings and watercolors that document similar subject matter found in the postcards. The drawings and watercolors were created by the donor's grandfather, Gustav Klemp.

Series one contains two certificates, one from the Deutschen Maler-Bundes (German Painters' Association) in 1901 and one from the Handwerkskammer für Westpreußen zu Danzig (Chamber of Crafts for West Prussia in Danzig) in 1910. Series two contains 94 postcards that feature soldiers and landscapes of the Eastern Front during World War I (1914-1918), as well as an artists' group from before the war (1906) and a group of soldiers after the war (1922). Series 3 contains sketches and watercolors illustrating camp life, soldiers, and landscapes on the Eastern Front from 1915-1918. Series four contains four medallions dating from 1914, one of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, one of Kaiser Wilhelm with Emperor Franz-Jozef of Austria, one of Vice Admiral Von Spee, and one of General von Mackensen. Series five consists of a journal in which Gustav Klemp seems to have written a narrative of the World War I years, as well as a color postcard of Kaiser Wilhelm. The collection is mostly in German, with some items in Hungarian and Polish.

Arrangement

Materials are arranged into five series by format.

Series Series 1: Certificates, 1901, 1910 (pages 1-2) Series 2: Postcards, 1906-1922 (pages 3-17, 22-28, 32) Series 3: Artwork, 1915-1918 (pages 18-22, 26, 28-34) Series 4: Medallions, circa 1914 Series 5: Notebook, circa post-1918

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Postcards
  • World War, 1914-1918

Container List

Series 1: Certificates
1901, 1910
  • Text box: 1 page: 1-2
    Deutschen Maler-Bundes certificate and Meister-Brief, Handwerkskammer für Westpreußen zu Danzig
    1901, 1910
Series 2: Postcards
1906-1922
  • Graphic Materials box: 1 page: 3-6
    Postcards of soldiers (in camp, at the front, in groups), painters' group (maler)
    1906-22
  • Graphic Materials box: 1 page: 7-17 Graphic Materials box: 1 page: 21, 23-28 Graphic Materials box: 1 page: 32, 35
    Postcards of places in Eastern Europe (Romania, Russia), soldiers at the front
    1912-18
Series 3: Artwork
Graphic Materials box: 1 page: 18-22 1915-1918
  • Graphic Materials box: 1 page: 27-34, 36 Graphic Materials box: 1 page: 18-20, 22
    Watercolors and drawings of camps, army life, scenery, Jewish woman
    1915-1918
Series 4: Medallions
1914
  • Realia box: 1
    Medallions of Kaiser Wilhelm, Emperor Franz-Jozef, General von Mackensen, and Vice Admiral von Spee
    circa 1914
Graphic Materials box: 2
Series 5: Notebook and Kaiser Wilhelm Postcard
circa 1920s
Scope and Content

This notebook appears to be a narrative of the World War I years by Gustav Klemp. It is entirely in German and is untranslated. Separated from the notebook is a color postcard of Kaiser Wilhelm.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Notebook cover is in poor condition and is becoming unbound from pages. Due to other preservation concerns, the notebook is currently restricted.