The 2020 Gutenberg Prize of the International Gutenberg Society and the City of Mainz goes to Gerhard Steidl

One of the reasons given by the jury for its decision is that Gerhard Steidl has been working as a printer and publisher for decades with the highest quality standards. Steidl Verlag's in-house printing shop is one of the most famous printing houses in the world. With him as a prizewinner, artistic freedom as a characteristic feature of a functioning democracy is emphatically defended.

Born in Göttingen in 1950, Steidl founded his own publishing house at a young age in 1968 and set up a screen-printing workshop for prints and posters in his native town. His clients include international artists such as Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers and Nam June Paik. 1972 saw the publication of the first Steidl book, "Befragung der documenta". This was followed by political non-fiction, literary titles and selected art and photography volumes.

Since 1993 the publishing house has held the world rights to the work of Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass. In its literary programme, Steidl also publishes the works of Icelandic Nobel Prize winner Halldòr Laxness, selected German-language titles and translations, mainly from English and French.

In 1994, Steidl launched his own photo book programme with an international focus, bringing together many of the most renowned contemporary photographers and artists, including Joel Sternfeld, Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, Robert Adams, Karl Lagerfeld, Lewis Baltz, Dayanita Singh, Ed Ruscha, Roni Horn and Juergen Teller. The books of Steidl Verlag are characterized by their individual design and layout. The printer and publisher, known for his passion for paper, personally selects paper and linen and checks all production steps from layout to printing. Each Steidl book literally passes through Gerhard Steidl's hands.

The realization of self-imposed, highest quality standards makes the printing house in Göttingen one of the most famous printing presses in the international publishing world. The ideas of artists and authors are implemented by Gerhard Steidl with no less a claim than to create book art.

The President of the International Gutenberg Society and Lord Mayor of Mainz Michael Ebling: "We are extremely pleased that, following the renowned librarian and cultural manager Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann in 2016 and the famous literary figure, editor and translator Alberto Manguel in 2018, this year an internationally renowned printer and publisher will be awarded the Gutenberg Prize, who sets the highest standards for his work in order to create bibliophilic works of art in perfect harmony with all aspects of his skills, keeping Johannes Gutenberg's artistic heritage alive in a particularly impressive way".

Due to the circumstances, the awarding of the prize will unfortunately not be able to take place on St. John's Eve; it will therefore take place at a later date.



Dear members and friends of the International Gutenberg Society,

the coronavirus has turned our everyday lives upside down. but gradually we are returning to normality. The Gutenberg Museum is open again and after the summer break we will probably be able to offer you events again from the end of August. 

In order to offer you a little distraction until then, you can follow a series of knowledge in pictures about the life and invention of Johannes Gutenberg on our Facebook and Instagramprofile since 20 March 2020. The pictures of each completed part can also be viewed here on our website in the form of a small video. 

Best wishes and stay healthy
Gutenberg Society



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Since the beginning of 2019, the Gutenberg Society has wanted to expand its activities and involve its internationally distributed members more closely by founding locally active city groups. The cooperation of like-minded people needs points of contact, which we want to make available. Above all, personal encounters provide the opportunity to expand and deepen knowledge about the areas of interest through contacts. To this end, we have found some committed members who organise and carry out events on their own premises in the name of the Gutenberg Society. Ernst Reif made the start in Munich and launched the first events in April 2019. He was followed by Mario Derra in Gernsheim ( and Hans Josef Altmann in Velbert-Langenberg (

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