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Art and architecture | 1750 up to 1800 | Western Pomerania until 1945

Family album with an entry by Philipp Otto Runge

  • 1792
  • on loan by Wolgast Museum

Nicknamed the 'poetry album', the official title for this chronicle is the 'family album'. It reflects the trend prevailing since the 16th century to collect signatures, especially of illustrious persons. Friends and family leave profound life mottoes, simple salutations, spirited wisdoms or some well-meant advice in the book left open for all kinds of poetic meanderings as a memento of student days, family gatherings or as a friendship album. The entries are mainly by family members, although friends also add their comments. Words and even sketches thank the owner for the honour of being immortalised in this personal album.

This family album is particularly important for Wolgast, as it contains entries by the city's prominent burghers from the outgoing 18th century, particularly by the Wolgast painter Philipp Otto Runge.

Johann Adolf Thimetius Schiever was its owner, who at the time was just 15. His classmate, Philipp Otto Runge wrote one of his poems and added a sketch of Wolgast in coloured pencil as his entry in the album.

The 81 double pages were produced by a factory in Holland.

Only twenty-two contain entries, including the signature of J. A. Schiever beneath a photograph.

The sequence in Schiever's family album is not chronological with the dates of their entry. His family album appears to have focused on his circle of friends. His teacher Ludwig Gotthard Kosegarten was the most important contributor for him, followed by a number of classmates. Besides his good friends, he also asks their siblings to write something in the album, which suggests close ties between the families. The siblings add their comments under the same date, but in the back section of the book.

The entries span a period of one year. The first of them is dated 12/03/1792, and it is followed by 21 others, the last one of 28/03/1793.

Text: B. R.

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Pommersches Landesmuseum

Rakower Straße 9
17489 Greifswald