In this collectors interview we meet Reinhard Tenbrock. Reinhard has been collecting pop-up books since 1983. He is a retired teacher for German literature and economics. First, when Reinhard started collecting, he bought books to read them with his five daughters. After a few months he was infected with the collector´s virus and since that time, pop-up books have been an important part of his life.
BPUB – What’s the first pop-up book you bought?
RT – My first pop-up was Lothar Meggendorfer´s Doll House. On the backside of the German edition, there is a text from Hildegard Krahé. She tells the reader a lot about the author and his creative work. I was astonished that the Doll House was first published in 1889 and how many other kinds of movable books were created in the 19th century. I started doing some research on these kinds of books in the bookshops in Düsseldorf where I lived at that time (1983).
BPUB – Who are your favorite pop-up book authors or paper engineers?
RT – I love them all. The pop-up scene is so versatile. There are always new artists who surprise me with their own style and creativity. Meggendorfer was my first “pop-up hero“. But Ernest Nister, Louis Giraud and Vojtech Kubasta are important artists, too and take up a lot of space in my bookshelves. Today artists like Robert Sabuda, Matthew Reinhart, Kees Moerbeek, David A. Carter, David Pelham, Sam Ita, Philippe UG, Gérard lo Monaco, Anouck Boisrobert, Louis Rigaud and many others impress me.
“I am in contact with many other collectors and artists. That enriches my life and brings me so many happy hours.”
BPUB – What are your favorite books in your collection and why?
RT – One of my favourites though is Lothar Meggendorfers Zum Zeitvertreib from 1885. It was my first original Meggendorfer and I love the ironic movements, especially the drunken old man in “Der vergessene Hausschlüssel”. Another one is Hilde Langen’s Ziehbilderbuch Schneewittchen from 1947 with paintings like watercolor and wonderful typefaces for the text. I am also proud to own one of the few handmade samples of Kees Moerbeek’s book Rumpelstiltskin, made in 2002. I love the book Birdscapes (2008) by Miyoko Chu and the paper engineering by Gene Vosough, Renee Jablow and Andy Baron. This book combines artwork with science-based information and a realistic stereo sound. That is a great project.
BPUB – How many books are there in your collection?
RT – Nearly 5.000 pop-up and movable books, and this may be the largest collection in Germany.
BPUB – What book is missing or will be the first one you’ll order next?
RT – I would like to have the other 25,000 movable books that were published in the last 150 years. Unfortunately, my “pocket money“ and the space in our house will not be big enough to complete the collection.
BPUB – If you could choose a subject for a new pop-up book by your favorite author, what would it be?
RT – My favorite subject for a pop-up book is Goethe´s “Faust”. There is the fight between the good and the evil. Mysterious things are going on like the bedevilment and there is the tragedy of the love and death of Gretchen.
BPUB – Is there anything else you would like to share with other pop-up book fans?
RT – I am in contact with many other collectors and artists. That enriches my life and brings me so many happy hours. I do not want to miss one of them.
BPUB – Thank you Reinhard for sharing your pop-up book collection with us!
WANTED: Pop-up book fans and collectors
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