| Faculty of Education, Faculty of Catholic Theology, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Economics, Law and Social Sciences, Studies

Students illustrate Götz Widmann's song "Zwei Trauben" as a book

What defines an illustrated book? What content does it refer to? Who is it aimed at? These were the questions posed by the "Illustrated Books" seminar led by Dr Ulrike Wollenhaupt-Schmidt in the winter semester 2021/22 as part of the Studium Fundamentale at the University of Erfurt. The chronological range covered more than 500 years from the first herbal books printed as incunabula - one of which is in the Erfurt University Library - to the artist's book of the 20th century. The result is a book of its own, which is now available.

Illustration from the book "Zwei Trauben"
Illustration from the book "Zwei Trauben"

Wollenhaupt-Schmidt's seminars are structured from the ground up according to the input-output principle: First, the students learn about very different book illustrations from children's books to storybooks to artists' books. But - as is usual for the Studium Fundamentale - the practical project comes at the end. "In the 4th semester of the pandemic, the seminar again had to be held in online format with a heavy heart halfway through," explains the lecturer. "This means that now for the second time, the planning phase of a book in a StuFu seminar took place only in virtual encounter. It is all the more gratifying that in the group discussion the idea of writing the song 'Die zwei Trauben' (The Two Grapes) by Götz Widmann as a story of its own turned out to be the favourite among all the suggestions. Initially, a new interpretation of a fairy tale, an ancient legend or an old story like Romeo and Juliet was also considered. The latter could even be incorporated into the story of the grapes in love that could only unite in death - on the way to a good wine."

Four students have now written the book in virtual group work, eight students and the seminar leader created the illustrations, others took care of the planning and did the preliminary work for the layout. The book has now been published by Books on Demand and can be ordered as a printed copy from the following e-mail address: ulrike.wollenhaupt-schmidt@uni-erfurt.de.