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An Artists’ Museum for Berlin:
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Leopold Reidemeister and Werner Düttmann

On 25 September 1967, ten days after the official opening of Brücke-Museum, artist Karl Schmidt-Rottluff wrote to architect Werner Düttmann: “My dear Mr. Düttmann, now that the furore of the opening has died down, I would like to waste no time in thanking you most sincerely once again. Your building for Brücke-Museum is a creation one can’t help but praise … The building has good proportions and correct dimensions throughout … and the landscape has been incorporated in a way that is nothing but exhilarating. It will no doubt bring cheer to each and every visitor while they are here … Yours always, KSR”

These few lines attest to the close bond between the Brücke artist and the architect, who was also responsible for the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) on Hanseatenweg in Berlin. In brilliant collaboration with the experienced museum administrator Leopold Reidemeister, the former Director-General of Staatliche Museen in West Berlin and for many years the head of Brücke-Museum, they created a museum which was devoted to the group of artists Brücke, which even today has retained its “exhilarating” aura. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff was also one of the initiators of the museum on the edge of the Grunewald, and his works and personal collection laid the foundations for the Brücke-Museum collection. His friend and fellow artist Erich Heckel likewise supported the project through generous gifts. This way, the new Brücke-Museum quickly emerged as the leading institution on German Expressionism.

The exhibition An Artists Museum for Berlin: Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Leopold Reidemeister and Werner Düttmann, on the occasion of the museum’s fiftieth anniversary, is an homage to the unique history of its founding. On the basis of documents and photographs, the exhibition reconstructs the first presentation of the collection in 1967 – spaciously and elegantly hung as it was then – which marks the starting point for the exploration of new perspectives on to the collection and its history. The exhibition showcases thirty-five paintings, sixty-two prints and original drawings, four sculptures and a glass work, as well as annual portfolios and postcards from the Brücke-Museum collection.

Following in the tradition of the “artists’ museum” as a place for exchange and exhibitions of and for artists, in future national and international scholars, curators, writers, and in particular artists will be invited to engage with the museum and its collection, starting with Venezuelan artist Sol Calero (b. 1982 in Caracas), who will install her site-specific Casa Isadora (2018) in the museum’s garden. A diverse programme of events will be held in this magnificent pavilion which references the MUIM Institut (Modern Lessons in Painting) founded in 1911 by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Pechstein.

Exhibition Guide

2010–2019

Exhibition Guide: Ein Künstlermuseum für Berlin
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Leopold Reidemeister und Werner Düttmann (2018)

Exhibition guide

32 pages
black-and-white images
German/English
free of charge
avaiable for download

Download

2010–2019

Exhibition Guide: Ein Künstlermuseum für Berlin
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Leopold Reidemeister und Werner Düttmann (2018)