Dietrich Apel and the Foto Gallerie Suhl Waffenkunst or Gun Makers Poster Project
By Larry B. Schuknecht
From the very beginning of the German Gun Collectors Association, it’s founder- Dietrich Apel not only wanted to collect and feature information about German guns and gun makers but also wanted to do all he could to promote the appreciation for the culture surrounding the City of Gun Makers- Suhl with the rest of the World. In 2006 while visiting Suhl he had a meeting with then Oberbürgermeister (Lord Mayor) Dr. Triebel and Mr. Ehrhardt who owned a premier car dealership in the old J. P. Sauer factory building known as Autohaus Ehrhardt. From that meeting came the idea for the creation of a series of posters using the outstanding photographs of Sporting Guns that he had accumulated over the years.
In the summer of 2007 Dietrich made what he thought was to be his last trip to Suhl, Germany, the city that he grew up in. While there he learned that in the following year- 2008 many events would take place in Suhl that he and many other GGCA members might want to attend. One of those events was the re-opening of the Waffenmuseum after extensive remodeling. This put Dietrich’s drive to create the posters into high gear and by Nov. of 2007 he had several posters done. One of the first posters he completed was for the Museum in Tambach where the GGCA had a display of German guns.
As the project progressed he worked closely with Tom Bulloch in the United States who did the final layout and printing was done by Peter Bach in Germany, The world renowned engraver Hendrik Fruehauf also worked with Peter Bach to solicit and collect funds for the project, John Neumann in the United States helped with the business end of the project and Dr. Elisabeth Rockenstein in Germany, who represented a group known as The Friends of the Waffenmuseum, took an active part in soliciting support but more importantly took charge of their presentation and their placement. In all Dietrich created 18 beautiful art posters which were installed in many different locations around Germany and Suhl in particular. He had intended to create 24 posters and had 6 in the works that were never finished. To my knowledge all of the posters measured 50 x 75 cm but were made available in smaller sizes if desired. Also a montage of five of the posters was produced in a very limited number.
Following is a list of the 18 posters, their location and to whom they were presented and displayed.
No. 1- Graviertes Sauer System- In the Autohaus Ehrhardt
No. 2- Sauer / Schilling Flinte- in the Autohaus Ehrhardt
No. 3- Meffert Drilling- Bank on Steinweg Strasse
No. 4- Caspar Schaller Gewehre- Oberbürgermeister Triebel
No. 5- Franz Jäger Vertikal Block System- Büchsenmacher School
No. 6.- Haenel Hahnflinte 1 & 2 pair- Dr. Rockenstein
No. 7.- Haenel Aydt Scheibenbueschen (Haenel poster no. 3)- Schiessport Zentrum
No. 8.- Lindner-Daly Querflinten- Goldener Hirsch
No. 9.- Doersch Zuendnadel Beuchse- Herr Rudolph
No. 10.- Abesser & Merkel- Museum Erfurt
No. 11.- Gebrueder Merkel- Firm Merkel
No. 12.- A. Fritze- Dr. Fritze
No. 13.- Sempert & Krieghoff- Voruebegehend Schiessport
No. 14.- Lindner Daly Trap Gun- Schiessport Zentrum
No. 15.- Haenel-Aydt Schiebenbuchse 2- Gymnaseum(Oberschule)
No. 16.- Waffen Museum- Same
No. 17.- Jagdmuseum Tambach- Waffenmuseum Suhl
No. 18.- Museum in Zella-Mehlis- same
No. 19.- Aydt pistol
The Posters that were never completed-
No. 20.- Kettner in Suhl & Koeln
No. 21.- Steigleder, Suhl & Berlin
No. 22- Meffert exhibition gun