Neurath’s pioneering work on information graphics, 1930

Otto NEURATH, Hg.; Gerd Arntz (Design): GESELLSCHAFT UND WIRTSCHAFT. BILDSTATISTISCHES ELEMENTARWERK. 100 mostly multicoloured linocut plates and 30 plates of text. Leipzig: s.a. [1930].

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Otto NEURATH, Hg.; Gerd Arntz (Design): GESELLSCHAFT UND WIRTSCHAFT. BILDSTATISTISCHES ELEMENTARWERK [SOCIETY AND ECONOMY. AN ELEMENTARY WORK OF PICTORIAL STATISTICS]. Das Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Wien zeigt in 100 farbigen Bildtafeln Produktionsformen, Gesellschaftsanordnungen, Kulturstufen, Lebenshaltungen. 100 mostly multicoloured linocut plates and 30 plates of text. Leipzig: Bibliographisches Institut, s.a. [1930].

Oblong-2°. [1 not numbered leaf (title.)], plates 1-130 (pictures), plates 101-130 (texts: introduction, remarks, index, table of contents). Colour lino-cut and offset, lose in the original cloth cardboard clamshell box with three flaps and embossed title on front cover and spine.

Pioneering work on information graphics, highly searched until today for it's groundbreaking picture language for presenting complex social and economic data by easy to understand means.

Contents, Author: The author of present work, the Vienna born Jewish philosopher of science, sociologist, political economist and educator Otto Neurath (1882-1945), founded and directed the short-lived but highly influential Vienna research institute »Museum of Society and Economic Affairs« (Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum). Together with Rudolf Carnap and Moritz Schlick he also initiated the "Vienna Circle" of Logical Empiricism (1924-36). Both institutions were closely linked to Red Vienna and therefore were forced to close starting in 1934, when the Austro-Fascist regime gained power.

Under Neurath's skilful and well managed leadership and in collaboration with numerous scientists, pedagogues and artists (above all the graphic artist Gerd Arntz, already trained in constructivist aesthetics), the present work shows forms of production, social orders, levels of cultural development, lifestyles etc. "The present elementary work "Society and Economy" (…) wants to be the beginning of a new 'Orbis pictus' in the sense of Comenius. (Introduction by Neurath)

Condition: Clamshell box in parts with moisture stains and decent corresponding smell as well as slightly foxy, front cover with traces of two put down cups, marginally worn at corners and edges. Title paged and some of the plates slightly foxy at margins, otherwise in good, solid condition. Like usual without the particularly rare colour illustrated slipcase. – 

Rarity: Hard to find in trade regardless state and condition. According to JAP/APO and RBH only 7 copies of this most influential work were offered at auction during the last 40 years, where of only 1 in the original slipcase.