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Luther - Leipzig - Letter Press!

Martin Luther goes to press, Museum of Printing Arts, Leipzig
04.05.2017 to 24.09.2017

The Schwabacher – the most common typeface in Reformation printed works (Photo: Museum of Printing Arts, Leipzig)
The Schwabacher – the most common typeface in Reformation printed works (Photo: Museum of Printing Arts, Leipzig)
A piece of Reformation history can be experienced at the Leipzig Museum of Printing Arts under the slogan “Luther ‒ Leipzig ‒ Letter Press", by means of installations in the permanent exhibition and interactive stations. Martin Luther's neologisms still shape the German language today; the Luther rose seal served as an early trademark that gave rise to copyright, while freedom of expression and media together formed a fundamental democratic right.

Without the letter press, the Reformation and Martin Luther's ideas would never have experienced the dynamism we recognise today. Leipzig, an important centre for printing even in the early days of the Reformation, played a vital role in this. It was here in 1518 that Melchior Lotter printed the reformer's early writings in his shop, before he established his famous print shop in Wittenberg in 1520.

To celebrate the anniversary, visitors can experience the emergence of print media circa 1500 in the Museum of Printing Arts' authentic workshops. They can watch as a Schwabacher – the most common typeface used in Reformation printed works – is cast in the type foundry right before their eyes. Under the motto “Set and print your own theses”, visitors will be able to produce their own texts using lead type characters from a printing press, as was the practice in Luther's time. A historical hand press demonstrates how printed media was duplicated during this period. The project clearly illustrates the huge amount of work that went into printed material, which was already seeing large print runs, even in Luther's time – and changed the world forever.

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Organizer:

Museum of Printing Arts, Leipzig
Nonnenstrasse 38
04229 Leipzig,

More information about the organizer

Event location:

Museum of Printing Arts, Leipzig
Nonnenstrasse 38
04229 Leipzig