Since 1968, the Gutenberg Society, together with the city of Mainz, has awarded the Gutenberg Prize of the International Gutenberg Society and the City of Mainz for outstanding artistic, technical and scientific achievements in the field of printing. The award was initially awarded every three years, since 1994 then in the annual change with the Gutenberg Prize of the city of Leipzig, which also honors outstanding book art achievements. The Gutenberg Prize is endowed with 10,000 euros.
The Gutenberg Prize of the International Gutenberg Society in Mainz e.V. and the state capital Mainz will be awarded to two candidates for the first time in 2022: Prof. Dr. Jeffrey F. Hamburger, an expert on late medieval book illumination and the transition to the printing era, and Eckehart Schumacher-Gebler, printer and professor of printing.
One of the reasons given by the jury for its decision to split the prize this year is that both laureates have achieved equally outstanding achievements in their very different relationship to the legacy of Johannes Gutenberg. The double nomination recognises both the scholarly study of Gutenberg's legacy and the craftsmanship involved in continuing the tradition of letterpress printing.
The President of the International Gutenberg Society in Mainz e.V. and Mayor of Mainz, Michael Ebling: "We are extremely pleased that after the renowned editor and translator Alberto Manguel in 2018 and the internationally renowned letterpress printer and publisher Gerhard Steidl, this year with Jeffrey F. Hamburger and Eckehard SchumacherGebler, two outstanding personalities will be awarded the Gutenberg Prize, both of whom set the highest standards for their work in order to keep Johannes Gutenberg's artistic legacy alive in a particularly impressive way in a wonderful harmony of all aspects."
The art and cultural scholar Prof. Dr. Jeffrey F. Hamburger teaches at Harvard University with a focus on "Late Medieval Art and Cultural History in the Transition from Manuscript to Letterpress". He is the author of several standard works such as "Under Pressure. European Book Illumination in the Age of Gutenberg" and the series "15th Century Book Illumination in Central Europe". Prof. Dr. Hamburger is an expert on late medieval book illumination and an excellent connoisseur of the period of transition from manuscript to book printing. He thus fills a central academic gap in art and book research and succeeds in a special way in explaining medieval and modern visual culture in dialogue.
Eckehart SchumacherGebler was a trained printer and typesetter and has been an honorary professor of printmaking at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar since 2013. In Dresden, SchumacherGebler also ran the Offizin Haag-Drugulin, a studio for typography, and a publishing house. In 1994, he founded the Museum für Druckkunst in Leipzig, which, as a "working workshop museum", conveys the craftsmanship and artistry of printing techniques. The following year, he also established the "Leipziger Typotage" (Leipzig Typographic Days), an annual international conference dedicated to the history of type and contemporary typography. SchumacherGebler kept the art of letterpress printing alive in his companies until the end. Throughout his life, he worked tirelessly to preserve and pass on the technique of letterpress printing and thus Gutenberg's legacy. Eckehart SchumacherGebler passed away on 17 December 2022.
Obituary of Eckehart SchumacherGebler
The Presidium and Board of the International Gutenberg Society mourn the loss of their Gutenberg Prize winner and long-time member Eckehart SchumacherGebler, who passed away on 17 December 2022 at the age of 88.
Eckehart SchumacherGebler came from a family of printers in Munich and was a trained printer and typesetter. After studying at the Munich College of Graphic Arts, he took over his parents' print shop in the early 1960s.
Since then, he has rendered outstanding and valuable services to the art of letterpress printing, its preservation and transmission, in many ways, especially through his Offizin Haag-Drugulin in Dresden, a studio for typography, as well as his publishing house. In 1994, he founded the Museum of Printing Art in Leipzig, which is a "working workshop museum" that conveys the craft and artistic techniques of printing. The following year, he also established the "Leipziger Typotage" (Leipzig Typographic Days), an annual international conference dedicated to the history of type and contemporary typography. Since 2013, he has been an honorary professor of printmaking at the Saar University of Fine Arts.
Just a few months ago, the International Gutenberg Society and the city of Mainz awarded SchumacherGebler the Gutenberg Prize 2022 for his tireless efforts to keep the technique of letterpress printing and thus Gutenberg's legacy alive.
For more than 20 years Eckehart SchumacherGebler supported the aims of our society and with him we lose not only an important personality but also a highly valued member. Our sympathy goes especially to his family and all his relatives.
On behalf of the Presidium and Board of the International Gutenberg Society
Prof. Dr Stephan Füssel
Dr Julia Bangert