Masks at Der Weissen Maus (White Mouse) in Berlin’s Jägerstrasse, 1924; will they be going to a party afterwards?

The third of Otto Schoff’s group sex portfolios, again an unattributed Gurlitt co-production, could not have had a clearer title – Orgien (Orgy). In these ten detailed engravings he lets his imagination run wild – sexuality and sensuality are everywhere, from the drawing room to the nunnery, the restaurant to the garden. At the same time, he never lets his artistic sense of composition and balance suffer; each engraving a perfect use of the square format and the accuracy of each stroke of the burin, the engraver’s fine chisel. By the mid-1920s Schoff was at the height of his skills, and the artistic conditions in his chosen home city were perfect for honing them.

For anybody interested in the social and cultural context of art, culture and eroticism in Weimar Berlin, the detailed study made by the late Mel Gordon, Voluptuous Panic, is essential and fascinating reading. He covers a wide range of subjects from brothels and cabaret to crossdressing, nacktkultur and the occult, accompanied by an enormous number of contemporary photographs and illustrations. Voluptuous Panic is published by Feral House; more details can be found here.

We are very grateful to Hans-Jürgen Döpp for these images; Hans-Jürgen, the compiler of many books on erotic art, curates the Venusberg online gallery and bookshop which you can find here.