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Golden treasure for the Gutenberg Museum

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Mainz Gutenberg Museum receives unique artist's Bible

In a world museum of the art of printing, with editions of the Gutenberg Bibles to modern books, a globally unique Bible should not be missing. The Gutenberg Museum has therefore received one of the limited editions of the Wiedmann Bible ART Edition. It consists of 3,333 pictures and is the only Bible in the world that reproduces the entire Old and New Testament in pictures. The Wiedmann Bible is now available in the form of the exclusive and limited ART edition in gold in the Gutenberg Museum. On Tuesday, the Mainz head of cultural affairs, Marianne Grosse, and director Dr. Annette Ludwig received the copy with the number 3 of 333 for the Gutenberg Museum. “The Wiedmann Bible is a really impressive work that is of great artistic and cultural importance. We are delighted about this extraordinary gift to the Gutenberg Museum, ”says the head of the cultural department, Marianne Grosse.

The bible was presented by the son of the artist, who has since died. He discovered the almost 1.2 km long Leporello after his father's death. Willy Wiedmann worked on the artwork for 16 years (1984-2000). He painted them in the style of polycon painting, which he had developed in the 1960s. Because printing technology was not that advanced at the time, Wiedmann was unable to publish his work. After the discovery, his son Martin took on the challenge of continuing his dream. “When I found the 19 Leporello books in the attic almost five and a half years ago, I knew that this Bible was something special. At that time, however, I did not expect that one day, in the form of the ART edition, it would be in one of the world's oldest book and printing museums, ”says Martin Wiedmann. "That is why it is a special honor for me to be able to present this picture Bible to the Gutenberg Museum as a gift." The Gutenberg Museum will initially present the work together with an interactive experience terminal until mid-March. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of the Wiedmann Bible and leaf through it. Afterwards, the extraordinary gift will be integrated into the cabinet exhibition “Our most beautiful ... picture Bibles”, which will then be on view until the end of 2019. “The Wiedmann Bibel complements our collection, which we are presenting on the occasion of the donation as part of our series“ Our most beautiful ... ”. The focus here is not on the texts of the Holy Scriptures, but rather on the images that are supposed to bring God's word to people, ”says museum director Dr. Annette Ludwig.

The ART-Edition is a limited edition of the Wiedmann Bible in book form. It was created in collaboration with the German Bible Society and the renowned photographer and designer Manfred Rieker. The edition contains the complete pictures of the original and is supplemented by comments as well as a biography of the artist and various Bible verses from the revised Luther Bible 2017. The gold edition is limited to 333 copies, the red and black editions to 3,000. In addition to the Gutenberg Museum, the Bavarian State Library in Munich, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, the Bibliorama Bible Museum in Stuttgart and the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. (USA), the largest Bible museum in the world, has added the Wiedmann Bible ART Edition to its inventory.


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