The Cooper Hewitt Design Library recently acquired another Lothar Meggandorfer (1847-1925) movable book for its pop-up and movable collection. He is known for his children’s book illustrations, but is best known as a movable book designer.

Cover of Lebende Bilder by Lothar Meggendorfer

Cover of Lebende Bilder by Lothar Meggendorfer

Lebende Bilder is a book about various tasks and activities such as playing the piano, playing with a dog, and show the full sweep start and end of the subjects’ movements in performing these activities. The heads, arms and legs are cut outs on the front of the picture. The illustrations are chromolithographed plates. Each of the 8 action scenes illustrate poems in German and are titled Mr. Staberl, the maiden cook, the pianist, the scribe, the schoolmaster, the Tyrolean singer, and Fritzchen and the cockatoo. The action is controlled by a pull-tab lever mechanisms that are sandwiched between two pages; You can this work in a different edition of this book- pulling the tab back and forth sets the scene in motion.

Der Klaverspieler

The Piano Player, before and after moving the pull tab mechanism.


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