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Thomas Abeking was born in 1909 as the son of the painter couple Hermann and Elly Abeking in Berlin. Abeking began his education with a graphic and architectural study at the arts and crafts school in Berlin-Charlottenburg and with various private teachers.

In the 1930s and 40s, he produced numerous drawings for the TRANSART representations, a new kind of printing process, in which several transparencies of clear cellophane were printed in double-sided color to form a brochure. This made it possible to see with a radiopaque view of the inside of a machine or of a body part, when these films were superimposed on one another. Depending on the view on the left or right sides, viewing from the bottom (l) or the top (r) was possible. With this TRANSART procedure he created representations of engines, cars, ships, machines and devices, as well as anatomical works and city views. These papers were mostly published by TRANSART - Gesellschaft für Zellglas-Kunstdruck in Berlin, Germany.

From 1937 to 1947 he was also responsible for advertising and documentation at Volkswagen GmbH. Between 1945 and 1947, he was the second director of the Town Planning Office in Berlin-Kreuzberg. From 1946 he was a member of the Berufsverband Bildender Künstler Berlin. In 1947 he founded a building and art publishing house in Berlin. In 1952, Abeking move to Frankfurt a. Main and in 1953 to Cologne. Industrialization artwork and documentation continued to be its main work area. From 1956, he also worked for the German Armed Forces, dealing with the preparation of guidelines for technical military documentation. From the 1970s, he was based in Bonn-Bad Godesberg. Parallel to his artwork, documentation and advertising office, he founded the Thomas Abeking Verlag für Technische Dokumentation GmbH in 1978, which employed about 20 people.

One on the documents created by Thomas Abeking was the TRANSART KdF Wagen brochure produced in the early 1940s. The brochure had 8 different overlay cellophane sheets so you could view different sections of the KdF Wagen. For instance, you could view the roof on the KdF Wagen and when turning the next cellophane sheet, you were viewing the passengers sitting in the KdF Wagen. Also included in the TRANSART brochure were the technical specifications of the KdF Wagen. Abeking also made a similar Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen brochure as well.  The original KdF Wagen TRANSART brochure is seldom found but the brochure was reprinted in 1987 which is more readily available.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: VOLKSWAGENWERKS
  • Length: 30cm x 31cm
  • Production Era: Early 1940s
  • Country: Germany
  • Materials: Paper and Cellophane
  • Color: Various
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