Bert Mettmann Foundation
We bring light into the dark...
HISTORY OF THE BERT METTMANN FOUNDATION
“Neu-Ruppin, available at Gustav Kühn” was written at the border of the sheets.
With this catchy slogan the company became the very synonym for pictorial broadsheets in far parts of Germany and Northern Europe.
Soon further manufacturers settled in Neuruppin.
In 1835 the lithography organization Oehmigke & Riemschneider started with the production of pictorial broadsheets, an enterprise, which worked quite successfully and existed similarly long - only into the 1930s the last pictorial broadsheet with the number 10 545 appeared here. Between 1855 and 1863 also the company F. W. Bergeman in Neuruppin produced about 1450 pictorial broadsheet motives.
None of both companies however reached the degree of popularity of Gustav Kühn.
Founder of the local tradition is the printer Johann Bernhard Kühn, who lived from 1750 to 1826 in Neuruppin. His first pictorial broadsheets, printed from woodcuts, were produced before 1800. His son, Gustav bold (1794-1868), an intelligent and graphically talented young man, completed 1812/1813 a technical training for woodcut, steal and copperplate engraving in Berlin. In 1819 he joined the father's company as a partner and managed it from 1822 for almost 40 years.
Kühn acted commercially skillfully and had a reliable feeling for currently demanded motives. He drew many of his pictures himself and provided them with his own texts and poems - always royalist and as an advocate of order and moral. Already in 1825 he acquired a lithography press and could thereby clearly increase his production – the new technology was still hardly common at that time.
The publishing house existed approximately for 120 years. In 1939, for the 700th anniversary celebration of the city Neuruppin, with the motive number 10 337, Kühn's last pictorial broadsheet appeared. The editions were differently high. 40,000 prints were quite common, individual broadsheets from the time of the French-German war in 1870/71 are even supposed to have been printed with an edition of two million copies.
In the 30s the entrepreneur family Mettmann acquired the printing house and successfully continued it up to the death of Bert Mettmann.
In 2002 the foundation was brought to life by the entrepreneur Mrs. Irene Mettmann and managed by herself up to her death.
In the year 2008, Mr. Carsten Andrees was appointed as the chairman of the board of the Bert Mettmann foundation.
1. Gustav Kühn memorial at the school's playground in Neuruppin
2. Garden concert on June 17th, 1884 in the circular garden at Neuruppin
3. Wilhelm Tell