RARE Siegfried Reinhardt prints, complete set 11 lithos

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  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jul 06, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House

This auction is for a complete set of 11 prints by artist Seigfried Reinhardt, a German born contemporary artist who had a prolific career of 40 plus years, and unfortunately passed away in 1984 at the age of 59.

Encylopedia Brittanica commissioned him to produce a set of lithographs for the 15th edition of the encyclopedia in 1974. Reprinted below is the result of the research their staff did on my behalf and emailed to me:

Old notes and memos indicate that an artist by the name of Sigfried Reinhardt was commissioned by the company to create a series of lithographs for the publication of the 15th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1974.
Reproductions of these lithographs were included in a volume called the Propaedia in limited-edition sets of Britannica with special, high-quality bindings. Production of one of these (the Collector's Edition) was limited to 999 sets, and the the other special edition was limited to 9,000 sets (numbered from 1,000 to 10,000).
The primary purpose of the aforesaid Propaedia was to provide an outline for the study of human knowledge, which is broken into ten catagories. Reinhardt's drawings preceded the volume's opening essay "Circle of Learning" and each essay that introduced the aforesaid ten suggested divisions of human knowledge: Matter and energy; The Earth; Life on Earth; Human Life; Human society; Art; Technology; Religion; The history of mankind; and The branches of knowledge.
It appears that twenty different pieces were produced by Reinhardt (we don't have a complete list of titles). Eleven, as noted above, were reproduced in the Propaedia, and some or all of the lithographs were sent in tubes to purchasers of the special editions.
Some time ago we found this obituary in the 26 October 1984 issue of the New York Times (B5):
St. Louis, Oct. 25 (UPI) - Siegfried Reinhardt, a German-born artist whose
career lasted 40 years, died of a heart attach Wednesday in a suburban
hospital. He was 59 years old.
Mr. Reinhardt was born in Germany but spent most of his life in the St.
Louis area. His paintings are displayed around the world and he is among
the few americans with works in the Vatican Museum's permanent
collection. In St. Louis, Mr. reinhardt is best known for a 142-foot mural
at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport that symbolically tells the story
of the development of aviation. At the time of his death Mr. Reinhardt
was working on a one-man exhibition to be presented next year at the
Albrecht Museum in St. Joseph, Mo.
We hope this information proves useful.
Britannica Customer Service

So there you have it, the mystery has been solved. I have shown photos of 7 of the 11 prints, and will soon post the other 4. These are beautiful, intriguing prints, and each measures approximately 16" x 20". I'm not an expert in assessing the condition of artwork, but I can tell you the prints are not torn, scratched, stained or faded in any way. It looks like they were pretty much kept in their original mailing tube. The prints are not marked or signed, so it took awhile to establish the provenance. Brittanica was extremely gracious to provide such detailed information.

I will ship these reutilitizing the original mailing tube. Shipping to the U.S. will be $9.00. Higher elsewhere.