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Otto Rohse

Otto Rohse

*  1925 Insterburg

The illustrator, typographer, and book designer Otto Rohse was born on July 8, 1925, in Insterburg in East Prussia. His school years were spent in Gumbinnen in East Prussia, and he began drawing at a young age. Rohse felt inspired to study art himself after meeting the painter Helene Wagenbichler, who had an exhibit at the Art Society Königsberg. Against his father's intentions, he started studying art at the Kunsthochschule Königsberg under Alfred Partikel, who is known for his Masurian landscapes. After the chaos of World War II, his service in the war, and a short time as a prisoner of war, he returned to his art studies at the Landeskunstschule Hamburg under Friedrich Ahlers-Hestermann. Richard von Sichowsky, the instructor for typography and book design, took him as his assistent. Rohse settled in Hamburg as a freelance artist in 1956. He also taught at the Werkkunstschule in Offenbach am Main. He later founded the Otto Rohse Presse, a hand press in 1962, which stayed true to the traditions of the art of book printing. The highly sought after bibliophilic editions can be found in museum collections, such as the Schiller-Nationalmuseum in Marbach. Rohse achieved recognition primarily for his composition of a series of postage stamps for the German Federal Post Office between 1955 and 1995, for example the long series "Deutsche Bauten aus 12 Jahrhunderten" (German Buildings from 12 Centuries). In 1985, Rohse was honored in Hamburg with the Biermann-Ratjen medal and in 2002 with the Gutenberg Prize of the city of Mainz. Otto Rohse lives in Hamburg.