Hanna Bekker vom Rath: A Rebel for Modern Art

The art collector, patron and mediator Hanna Bekker vom Rath (1893-1983) was an imposing personality. As an important pioneer of modernism, she supported the artistic avant-garde and also the Brücke artists decisively and in many ways.

Early on, she became friends with artists such as Alexej von Jawlensky and Ida Kerkovius. A particularly close friend was Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, whose artistic work she supported throughout her life. Hanna Bekker vom Rath not only built up an art collection, but also offered artists shelter and space to work in her “Blue House” in Hofheim am Taunus. Especially during the National Socialist era, she helped to ensure that ostracized artists could continue to work. In addition, from 1940 to 1943, she organized secret exhibitions of these artists’ work and arranged for their works to be shown to interested parties. Even after the end of the war, she continued to support art, founded the Frankfurt Kunstkabinett, a post-war institution for modern art, and undertook numerous exhibition trips in order to gain international recognition for German art.

A vivid picture of this extraordinary woman is created by a multitude of loans. In addition to paintings by Alexey Jawlensky, textile works by Ida Kerkovius and, of course, many works by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff are shown. A special focus will be on the “Blue House” in Hofheim as a refuge for modernist artists.

The exhibition is co-curated by art historian and granddaughter Bekker vom Rath Marian Stein-Steinfeld.

The exhibition, as well as an accompanying catalog, are being produced in cooperation with the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, where the exhibition will be shown from 7 July to 20 October 2024.