Dr Annette Ludwig
Director Gutenberg Museum, Mainz, Germany

Paper given at the annual meeting of the Association of European printing Museums, Mainz, 24th October 2014


Ladies and gentlemen, dear Mr. President, Alan Marshall, dear participants of the AEPM meeting,

First of all, I would like to welcome you very heartily to the Gutenberg-Museum in Mainz.

It is a real pleasure to have the AEPM members as our guests here at the Gutenberg-Museum and this on the occasion of this year’s AEPM Conference. Welcome to our Museum and welcome to Mainz!

When Mr. Marshall asked us for permission to hold the next conference at the Gutenberg-Museum I accepted his great idea with pleasure because – thanks to the esteemed former director, Dr. Eva-Maria Hanebutt-Benz – there has been a stable and good relationship between the AEPM and the GutenbergMuseum for many years.

And, as a matter of fact, we would be happy to keep and intensify these contacts in the future. Moreover, the theme of this year’s meeting “Exhibiting Printing Heritage” is perfectly in line with our present situation at the Gutenberg-Museum – or vice versa.

When today’s date was fixed for this conference, I informed the organizers that the AEPM would of course be more than welcome. At the same time, it was with great regret that I had to let them know that I would not be able to attend the whole meeting due to an official appointment which had been fixed long ago. However, I got a short-term notice telling me that the appointment would be a bit later. So I now have the pleasure of welcoming you personally this morning and I can stay with you for some time.

Dr. Schutt-Kehm, who is the deputy director of our Museum, will accompany you until Saturday. Very soon she will also inform you of the work we have done over the last four years; she will talk about our new developments and let you know what we want to do to make our Museum “fit for the future”. She will be at your disposal all day long and she will be pleased to help you and answer all your questions.

Last year we developed, together with the renowned “Atelier Brückner”, which is situated in Stuttgart, a concept which will be the basis for a Europe-wide architectural competition. At the moment, the announcement of an ideas competition, including a plan for the realization of these ideas, is elaborated. If everything goes well, we will be able to present the winner’s draft in about one year.

We have around 5 million euros to start with, and further funds must be made available, mainly by both our sponsors associations and by civic engagement. However, we also try to get financial means from our state and federal state, and we are optimistic that we can continuously make good progress. Of course this is also my wish for all those who are in a similar situation.

It is important that the (printing) museums will never tire of expressing our demands and requirements very clearly – and with self-confidence. It is essential that our issues which are often considered as “voluntary tasks” will not be pushed back in favour of some political tasks which are seemingly more 2 important. Networking is of utmost importance; we must support each other and speak with one voice which can no longer be ignored.

Now Dr. Schutt-Kehm would like to give you – as a kind of introduction – a short overview of our institution and our permanent exhibition.

At the moment, we show a special exhibition about Herbert Bayer´s advertising art from 1928 to 1938 (between Bauhaus years and emigration) in the basement. Herbert Bayer can be considered one of the fathers of modern graphic design.

Next month, we will feature a special exhibition about the winners of the Design Award of RhinelandPalatinate on the second floor. I would like to thank the organisers of the AEPM meeting in Mainz, especially Alan Marshall and Rolf Demmerle.

I would like to wish you an interesting meeting, a pleasant stay in our museum and in the city – and I am looking forward seeing you again next year.

Thank you.

Annette Ludwig