Karl Schmidt-Rottluff's Collection of Objects from Colonial Contexts

The estate of Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, owned by the Karl and Emy Schmidt-Rottluff Foundation at the Brücke Museum, contains around 100 objects from colonial kontexts. The Brücke artist himself never travelled outside Europe. He acquired these objects presumably from the 1910s onwards in the art trade and from private owners. The collection includes ritual and everyday objects, alongside souvenirs for the Western market. Some of them originate from Germany’s former colonies, and thus referring directly to German Expressionists’ entanglements in the often unlawful appropriation of material culture in colonially occupied lands.

Since January 2021, the Brücke Museum has been engaged in the critical reappraisal and digitisation of these objects.The expertise required for this undertaking is developed together with experts from the regions of origin and decolonial activists.

The Brücke Museum has made a conscious decision to publish the digital representations alongside key work data on Wiki Commons, thus enabling a larger, international public to access and participate in this collection. The museum expressly wants to make the data accessible, usable, and editable for anyone who is interested. Ascertaining more information about the objects based on the work data provided in Wiki will serve as an orientation aid, helping to associate the objects with specific geographical, cultural, and historical contexts. The networking project is designed as a process. The information on the works can and should be continuously supplemented as more knowledge is gained.

To the work presentation on Wiki Commons