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Writing the City: Das Berliner Palimpsest

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    2002 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wenman, Neil, born 1975 (writer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printing ink on paper; bound in black cloth on board

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the artist

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 91, shelf F, box 8

As a student of architecture Neil Wenman was interested in the theory and philosophy of architecture as much as in actually making buildings. Writing the City: Das Berliner Palimpsest was written as an undergraduate dissertation and examines the palimpsest nature of Berlin from its 19th-century history up to the Cold War, the construction of the Berlin Wall and the events surrounding the wall’s demolition.

Within this Wenman examines the role drawing plays in determining the changing structure of the city – the markings of roads, traffic signs, architectural plans, graffiti and so on. The book accompanies No Man’s Land, a cut-paper and drawing work by Wenman also in the V&A’s collection (Museum no. E.3021-2004).

Physical description

Portrait format black cloth bound book with paper wrapper with black and white photographic image of a ?street surface and (at top of image below the lettering of the book's title) a tape measure stretched across it. Lettered on front and spine of wrapper with title and on front of wrapper with name of author.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


2002 (made)


Wenman, Neil, born 1975 (writer)

Materials and Techniques

Printing ink on paper; bound in black cloth on board

Marks and inscriptions

'Writing The City , 2001 [sic]/ Bound printed paper 30 x22x3cm/ Edition 2 of 10/ Neil Robert Wenman/ All copyright for the contents remain with the author.'
Inscribed in pencil in the author's hand on the first page immediately inside front cover


Height: 30 cm, Width: 22.3 cm, Depth: 3 cm

Descriptive line

Book, Writing the City Das Berliner Palimpsest, by Neil Wenman, Great Britain, 2002.


Paper; Printing ink; Cloth


Printing; Book-binding

Subjects depicted

Palimpsest; History


Drawings; Architecture; Books; Politics

Production Type

Limited edition


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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