Digitisation and specialist indexing of the Individual Graphic Sheets of the Collection of Architect Albrecht Haupt (GESAH)

TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and University Library

History of Architecture and Urban Development, Institute for History and Theory of Architecture, Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH)

TIB’s “Albrecht Haupt Collection” is a special collection of national and international importance. The architect and building researcher Karl Albrecht Haupt (1852–1932), who taught at what was then the Hannover College of Technology for many years, compiled the collection and presented it to the college library during his lifetime.

As early as 1941, architectural historian Lieselotte Vossnack called it an outstanding collection, “comparable only to the collection of the publicly funded Staatliche Kunstbibliothek zu Berlin,” (now called the Kunstbibliothek, part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin alliance, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz). In 1923, Haupt expressed the wish “that the collection will be catalogued in a detailed index that complies with scientific requirements, and that it will gain wider recognition in and outside Hannover.”

It is now possible to meet his wish, thanks to funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG).

Object of the month

September 2020

Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves, view and ground plan of an arch of honor for George IV, 1821

Pen and brush, watercolored


TIB Slg. Albrecht Haupt, Kl. D. Z. 13

In the collection of Albrecht Haupt there are only very few drawings with local reference to Hanover.  Among them, a drawing by the Hanoverian court architect Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves (1788-1864) stands out in particular. This is a design for a gate of honor, which Laves made on the occasion of the entry of King George IV into Hanover in October 1821. From the "Description of all festivities, which were organized in the Hanoverian country with the presence of His Royal Majesty George the Fourth [...]", published in 1822 by Heinrich Dittmer, it is clear that Laves provided the designs for a multiplicity of further arches of honor and small architectures, among them gates of honor for the "garden communities" of the Hanoverian suburb Herrenhausen, the villages Linden and Blumenau as well as for private clients. All in all, more than 40 such gates of honor as well as numerous smaller festive architectures lined the path that George IV traveled on his visit to his kingdom via Osnabrück, Hannover, Göttingen and Hannoversch Münden through numerous towns and villages.

The depicted Gate of Honor, donated by the citizens of the Altstadt and the Calenberger Neustadt, was the most elaborate of its kind along the route. It stood at the Steintor and was "formed in the noble classical style", which distinguishes Laves' architecture in its fine formation and proportions. The building shown here from the eastern side (in elevation) consisted of a wooden construction with Corinthian style columns, beams and cornices. The ornamental decoration with coats of arms and emblems, inscriptions, picture and relief fields with allegorical figures was provided by the court painter Johann Heinrich Ramberg (1763-1840), the theater painter Friedrich August Günther and the sculptor Heinrich Ludwig August Hengst (1796-1868).

To the regret of the contemporaries, the "colossal art object" ("colossale Kunstgebilde") was torn down again on March 18, 1822. The plan signed by Laves himself might have been used as a model for the engraving illustrated by Dittmer, from which she deviated slightly in some details. The design of ephemeral architectures such as gates of honor or catafalques belonged to the common field of work of the architects of the time. The architects often regarded the carefully executed designs as reference designs and were therefore happy to publish them or circulate them in copies.