Guide to the Gustav Klemp German World War I collection

Gustav Klemp German World War I C0250


Published by George Mason University Libraries

Contact Information:

Fenwick Library (2FL)

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444

USA

Phone: (703) 993-2220

Fax: (703) 993-8911

Email: speccoll@gmu.edu

URL: http://scrc.gmu.edu

Descriptive Summary

Repository George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center.
Creator Klemp, Gustav
Title Gustav Klemp German World War I collection
Date 1901-1922
Physical Characteristics 0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract Contains certificates, postcards, artwork, and a notebook by Gustav Klemp (1882-1941), an artist and German army medic during the First World War, as well as First World War-era medallions.
Collection Number C0250
Language German

Biographical note

Gustav Klemp (1882-1941) was an artist from West Prussia in what was Germany until 1919 and is now western Poland. He was a member of the Deutschen Maler-Bundes (German Painters' Association). Klemp was in his mid-thirties at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and he served as a medic with the German Army. He sent a number of postcards from the Eastern front to his wife, Martha Klemp, and he also painted watercolors that portrayed camp life, landscapes of the war and troops. After the war and the creation of an independent Poland, he and his family were given the decision to become Polish citizens or emigrate. They emigrated to the United States and settled in the upper midwest, first in Iowa and then in Wisconsin. Klemp made his living in the United States primarily by painting murals for churches. He died in May, 1941, six months before the United States entered World War II.

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Scope and Content

The collection consists of 2 certificates, several postcards and artworks, 4 medallions, and a notebook that primarliy document people and places during World War I, particularly German soldiers on the Eastern Front. Many of the postcards are group portraits of soldiers in military uniforms. Several have messages from Gustav Klemp (the primary recipient appears to have been Frau Martha Klemp) and postmarks from areas along the Eastern Front, such as Russia, Poland, and Romania. One postcard from page 15 is postmarked Lautenburg on August 15, 1914, suggesting that Klemp may have been present at the nearby Battle of Tannenberg later that month. The artworks consist of both drawings and watercolors that document similar subject matter found in the postcards. The drawings and watercolors were created by the donor's grandfather, Gustav Klemp.

Series one contains two certificates, one from the Deutchen Maler-Bundes (German Painters' Association) in 1901 and one from the Handwerkskammer fur Westprussen zu Danzig in 1910. Series two contains postcards that feature soldiers and landscapes of the Eastern Front during World War I (1914-1918), as well as an artists' group from before the war (1906) and a group of soldiers after the war (1922). Series 3 contains sketches and watercolors illustrating camp life, soldiers, and landscapes on the Eastern Front from 1915-1918. Series four contains four medallions circa 1914, one of Kaiser Willhelm II of Germany, one of Kaiser Willhelm with Emperor Franz-Jozef of Austria, one of Vice Admiral Von Spee, and one of General von Mackensen. Series five consists of a journal circa post-1918 in which Gustav Klemp seems to have written a narrative of the World War I years. The entire collection is in German.

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Arrangement

Materials are arranged into three series by format.

Series 1: Certificates, 1901, 1910 (pages 1-2)
Series 2: Postcards, 1906-1922 (pages 3-17, 22-28, 32)
Series 3: Artwork, 1915-1918 (pages 18-22, 26, 28-34)
Series 4: Medallions, circa 1914
Series 5: Notebook, circa post-1918

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Gustav Klemp German World War I collection must be obtained from Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

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Index Terms

Subjects:

World War, 1914-1918

Document Types:

Postcards

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Gustav Klemp German World War I collection, #C0250, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Richard Passig in September 2014.

Processing Information

Processing completed by Elizabeth Beckman in November 2014. EAD markup completed by Elizabeth Beckman in November 2014. EAD revised by Elizabeth Beckman in December 2016.

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Contents List

Series 1: Certificates, 1901, 1910
Box Page
1 1-2 Deutchen Maler-Bundes certificate and Meister-Brief, Handwerkskammer fur Westprussen zu Danzig, 1901, 1910
Series 2: Postcards, 1906-1922
Box Page
1 3-6 Postcards of soldiers (in camp, at the front, in groups), painters' group (maler), 1906-1922
7-17, 22-28, 32 Postcards of places in Eastern Europe (Romania, Russia), soldiers at the front, 1912-18
Series 3: Artwork, 1915-1918
Box Page
1 18-22, 26, 28-34 Watercolors and drawings of camps, army life, scenery, Jewish woman, 1915-1918
Series 4: Medallions, 1914
Box
1 Medallions of Kaiser Wilhelm, Emperor Franz-Jozef, General von Mackensen, and Vice Admiral von Spee circa 1914
Series 5: Notebook, circa post-1918
Box
1 Notebook circa post-1918
This notebook appears to be a narrative of the World War I years by Gustav Klemp. It is entirely in German and is untranslated. Notebook cover is in poor condition and is becoming unbound from pages. Significant mold damage to several pages.
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