Hermann Gross

Art and Soul

Robin Jackson; Foreword by Jennifer Melville

Out of print

Quick Look

The first biography of this important German artist who was resident at Camphill in Aberdeen for many years.

287 x 210 mm
Floris Books
Art & Literature; Special Needs Education
24 colour and 24 b/w illustrations
128 pages
Publication date:
25 Sep 2008


Hermann Gross (1904-88) would probably be one of the most recognised German Expressionist painters today if it were not for one detail: in 1963, to the bewilderment of his friends, he left the artistic hubs of Paris and Berlin and became an artist-in-residence at a Camphill community in Aberdeen, in the north of Scotland.

This book should bring long-overdue recognition to this most talented of artists. It traces Gross's early life and career as he learned the technical skills of a sculptor, painter, silversmith and stained glass maker under some of the most eminent masters in Europe, including Haustein, Raemisch and Wlérick and, in Paris, Picasso. His work for the Nazi propaganda machine during the war is examined, along with his time in America.

It was during his many years at Camphill, however, that Gross's art matured, and this book includes fifteen colour plates of his most important work. Throughout, he remained true to the German Expressionist roots of communicating a compelling message relevant to contemporary society.


'This handsomely illustrated volume, on the life and work of the artist Hermann Gross, will be an attractive addition to anyone's bookshelf … Robin Jackson's book is far more than just a book about a dead, minor artist; it illustrates a whole dimension of the curative educational and socially therapeutic movement which, if explored, leads one close to the heart of anthroposophical care practice.'
-- Journal for Curative Education and Social Therapy, Spring 2009

‘He was a committed artist and a generous teacher who offered his gifts to Camphill. What he tried to do in making art part of Camphill’s daily life is as important now as it was then.’
-- Deborah Ravetz, writing for Camphill Correspondence

'This beautiful book draws in the reader from the first glimpse through the eyes of the portrait on the cover … The text is vividly and generously illustrated with photographs … In this rich monograph, Jackson leads the reader into exploration of both the art and soul of Hermann Gross.'
-- Margaret Crompton, Camphill Correspondence


Robin Jackson was a lecturer at Aberdeen College of Education before becoming Principal Lecturer in Special Education at King Alfred's College, Winchester and Principal of Linn Moor Special School in Aberdeen. He has worked with Camphill for many years, including as a Development and Training Co-ordinator, and is currently a consultant to Camphill Rudolf Steiner Schools in Aberdeen.

Jennifer Melville is the Keeper of Fine Art for Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, UK.


More books by Robin Jackson:
Discovering Camphill
Holistic Special Education

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