University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 034/2024, 22.03.2024

Valuable gift for the university library

Designer Peter Schmidt donates parts of his private library to the University of Bayreuth. The donation comprises around 1,400 books, which are now being made accessible to the public.

Ralf Brugbauer and Peter Schmidt

The designer Prof Peter Schmidt is donating significant parts of his private library to Bayreuth University Library. The extensive collection of the Bayreuth-born designer, who has lived and worked in Hamburg for decades, will be available to members of the university as well as the interested public. "Peter Schmidt's donation is a special enrichment for the library's collection," says a delighted Ralf Brugbauer, Director of the University Library. "It is a great honour for us that Peter Schmidt has entrusted his private collection to our institution."

The collection comprises around 1,400 books, including some very valuable individual items. The library reflects the wide-ranging interests of the award-winning designer: in addition to a wide range of media on topics such as architecture, photography and design, it also includes works from the fields of music and theatre, philosophy and literature. The numerous volumes on painting, sculpture and arts and crafts in the collection, which cover both European and Asian art, are an extraordinary asset for the Bayreuth University Library.

The contact was arranged by University President Prof Dr Stefan Leible and the former Mayor of Bayreuth Brigitte Merk-Erbe. In autumn 2023, Director Brugbauer travelled to Hamburg to meet Prof. Schmidt in person and discuss the details of the donation with him. At the end of 2023, a total of 84 boxes full of books finally made their way to Bayreuth. The first items from the collection have already been incorporated into the University Library's collection and can be viewed and, for the most part, borrowed by all visitors.

Peter Schmidt's donation is a special enrichment for the library's collection.

Ralf Brugbauer, Director of the University Library

Prof Peter Schmidt was born in Bayreuth in 1937. After an apprenticeship as a lithographer, he moved to the Werkkunstschule in Kassel in 1958, where he trained as a graphic designer. At the beginning of the 1960s, he moved to Hamburg, where he founded his own agency, the Peter Schmidt Group, in 1972. Although he enjoyed worldwide success as a designer, architect, costume and set designer and director, he always remained close to his Franconian homeland: For example, he designed the logo of the city of Bayreuth and the logo of the sponsoring organisation for the 2016 State Garden Show, as well as being responsible for the redesign of the entrance area of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra's concert hall in 2009. Peter Schmidt has also been recognised internationally: a bottle he designed for a perfume for Jil Sander was elevated to the status of art and included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

In addition to his design work, the avowed pacifist is also politically active: together with the music critic Jürgen Kesting and the historian Hannes Heer, he initiated the travelling exhibition "Silenced Voices", which has been commemorating the victims of National Socialist racial policies at German and Austrian opera houses since 2006. Part of the exhibition is on permanent display in Bayreuth's Richard Wagner Park on the Green Hill.

Dr. Anna Katharina Winkler

University Library

Phone: +49 (0)921 55 3446


Jennifer Opel

Jennifer Opel (on maternity/parental leave)Deputy Press & PR Manager

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5357