Francis Bott participated in the ‘Amerika-Haus’ exhibition in February, 1951, in Frankfurt. The paper is very acidic and fragile with old handling creases, generally in a poor state. Printed soon after the Second World War on poor war time paper when there was a paper shortage throughout Europe and United States authorities began to establish Amerika Häuser in various cities to serve as cultural and information centers.
Size 600 x 400mm
By the end of the war, the cultural infrastructure of German cities had been destroyed. With the military occupation, United States authorities began to establish Amerika Häuser in various cities to serve as cultural and information centers. Each one had a library with music programs, lecture programs, children’s programs and English teaching facilities. In my view they did a lot to help Germans emotionally and culturally re-establish their society. For instance, in each Amerika Haus there was an open shelf library where people could pick out their own books, check them out, read them there, or take them home. These were the first such open libraries in Germany, and this in itself had a democratizing effect on people. The directors of the university libraries in Frankfurt and Berlin were so impressed with the concept that they rebuilt their own libraries on the open shelf system.
By Hans “Tom” Tuch