Heinz Edelmann Collection

About the Collection

Heinz Edelmann (1934–2009), who became famous in 1968 for the character design in the Beatles' animated film Yellow Submarine, produced a body of work across the next four decades that was notable for its Expressionistic sensibility tempered by wit and humor. A series of posters in 1980s and 1990s for Westdeutscher Rundfunk (the principal public broadcasting station in West Germany) gained lasting cultural significance for politically bold graphics that were striking in their combination of whimsical, surreal, and sinister imagery. Edelmann had a long history of providing illustrations for periodicals, including Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the avant-garde magazine Twen. Books for the publisher Klett-Cotta were free-flowing designs that combined hand-lettering and illustration. Edelmann's distinctive contribution to visual culture has been recognized internationally in solo exhibitions in Europe, the United States, and Japan, including a Masters Series exhibition at the School of Visual Arts. The Heinz Edelmann Collection comprises 140 posters, 13 screenprints, and nine books.

Painting of a bird with two large human ears. Program information below in large black block font. Westdeutscher Rundfunk. WDR 2 Live poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1980.
A drawing of a green pea pod with four peas with smiling faces peeking out. Westdeutscher Rundfunk. WDR 2 Live poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1982.
Black and white illustration of a cutout of a woman, with two hands holding smoking pistols extend out of holes cut out where her breasts would be. Kammerspiele Düsseldorf. "Wind in den Zweigen das Sassafras" poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1960s.
Illustration of butterflies forming a vertical column. A woman's face peers out of the top of the column. Theater der Welt '81. Poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1981.
Three wavy red columns, topped by women's faces which merge with the threads of the three yellow light bulbs on top of their heads. Theater der Welt '81. Poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1981.
Painting of a stylized figure in orange and yellow holding several heads against a teal background. Essen Theater Festival. Characters In The Order Of Their Appearance screenprint. 23.5 x 33.5.
Photo and illustration collage, primarily of people's heads, crowd scenes, and colorful objects. Westdeutscher Rundfunk. "Schulfunk" poster. 33 x 47.
Painting of Toulouse-Lautrec standing against a measuring device. The wall behind him depicts the relative heights of notable artists and cultural figures. AGI. Toulouse-Lautrec poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 2001.
Block print of a black plus sign with four red squares arranged to suggest a swastika. Kammerspiele Düsseldorf. "der Stellvertreter, by Rolf Hochthuth" poster. 33 x 47. 1963.
Cartoonish illustration of a pink man (Fassbinder)in white briefs against a white background. Dusseldorfer Schauspielhaus. "Rainer Werner Fassbinder "Katzelmacher'" poster. 47 x 33.
Painting of an 18th century peasant walking with a stick and with a multicolored bar graph on his back; a house is visible in the background. Westdeutscher Rundfunk. "Tage Alter Music in Herne" poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1987.
Collage of a black-and-white nineteenth-century woman looking into a large glass cabinet with colorful pinwheels and anthropomorphic animal statutes. Westdeutscher Rundfunk. "Begegnung mit Brasilien" poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1980.
Painting of a pointing figure on a small boat at sea. Out of frame, a drawing of a smaller hand pointing at a stack of bowls. Theater der Welt Essen. 23.5 x 33.5. 1991
Geometric, black and red illustration of an 18th century man holding a flaming hoop and whipping a living piano. Westdeutscher Rundfunk. "Rheinisches Musikfest" poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1988.
Primarily photo collage of black and white human heads, with some colorful animals, household objects and paint. Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Folkfestival '81 poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1981.
Illustration and collage of a yellow table with quirky objects on top of it, including a box of cigars, boxes with German figures popping out of them and anchovies. Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Kinderprogramm poster. 23.5 x 33.5. 1976.