Günter Grass, the Artist


Günter Grass, Die Vorzüge der Windhühner (The Advantages of Windfowl) ([Berlin-Frohnau]: Luchterhand [1956]). Graphic Arts GAX in process


The Nobel Prize winning novelist Günter Grass (born 1927) is also a respected visual artist. Before the publication of his most famous novel Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum, 1959) Grass studied sculpture and graphics, first at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and then, at the Universität der Künste Berlin (Berlin University of the Arts). Biographies describe his academic career as “a stonemason’s education.”


In 1956, to accompany his first book of poetry (his first publication), Grass designed lithographs to be interspersed between the poems and for the paper wrapper. Martin Esslin writes, “It is hard to tell whether the poems are there to illustrate the drawings, or the drawings to illustrate the poems.”

For his poetry in English, see: Günter Grass, In the Egg and Other Poems (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977). Firestone Library (F) PT2613.R338 A24 1977