“Art d’Objet”, The Munich Show 2023
Softcover, 160 pages
1 edition, 2023
Published by Mineralientage München
Dimensions 10.5 by 8 by 0.5 (inches)
Price $20.00
“Art d’Objet”, The Munich Show 2023
by Mark Mauthner

 “Art d’Objet” Munich Show book 

Every year, among the many displays at the Munich Show, there is a single “blockbuster” display on some special topic, more often than not blending strictly mineralogical themes with other themes bearing some sort of relation to minerals and/or to the world of mineral collecting. At the 2023 Munich Show, a special exhibit entitled “Art d’Objet” carried on this tradition by filling a hushed, enclosed space with 145 works of art, mostly paintings, together with the fine mineral specimens which were their subjects: Fifty-eight lenders from around the world brought in (at obvious risk) their effectively priceless treasures, both mineralogical and artistic, and the spectacle as a whole was splendid. “Art d’Objet” is of course an inversion of the commonplace French phrase “Objets d’Art,” creatively adding emphasis to the “objects”—in this case natural objects, i.e. mineral specimens—so as to show that these can be turned into art indeed.

The 160-page booklet about this treat for Munich show-goers is a bilingual publication, as the bilingual Mark Mauthner, one of the main organizers of the exhibit, provided an English text to go with the German one. On the booklet’s cover is the famous painting called “The Mineralogist,” by the Swiss artist Raphael Ritz (1829 – 1894), which shows a Strahler, his wife and his little son, in an earthy workroom somewhere in the Alps, enjoying the mineral specimens he has taken down from the mountains. And in the booklet are excellent photos of all of the 145 creations by 30 artists, past and present, depicting mineral specimens, together with photos of the specimens themselves as they were exhibited, mere feet or meters away from the works of art to which they gave rise. Along the way of these images the text of the booklet provides information on the lives, careers and techniques of the artists and on the current ownership’s of the artworks and specimens. If you are a mineral collector or an artist, and the more so if you are both, you will certainly enjoy both kinds of highly sophisticated eye candy as are to be seen on these pages.