berkeley

Rudolf Steiner

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

When Rudolf Steiner—prolific author in twelve fields, charismatic teacher, and founder of the turn-of-the-century mystical movement he called anthroposophy—accompanied his influential lectures with blackboard drawings, he never meant the vividly scrawled amalgamations of image and text he produced to be considered works of art independent of their purpose in elucidating his ideas. For the first twenty-five years of the century, Steiner traveled throughout Europe giving some five thousand talks on a variety of subjects. In 1919, one of his colleagues began placing pieces of black paper over the chalkboard before each lecture, thus preserving what had previously been erased at the end of the evening. More than a thousand of these drawings were stored in the archives of Steiner’s institute in Dornach, Switzerland, where until recently they remained virtually unseen by anyone outside the

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