by Katrina Schulz

9 images

“I saw many old friends amongst your works. Their impression on me had not been blurred in the meantime and I was happy and much moved to see them again.” This is how Max Kaus described his first impressions of the then recently opened Brücke-Museum in a letter to Erich Heckel.

Works of art can be friends too. Perhaps precisely this is one of the reasons why so many people commit to and are enthusiastic about museums and their collections today, and why networks of support and friendly discussion have repeatedly been formed around works and their originators.

Supportive, so-called “passive” members of the Brücke group – such as the art historian Rosa Schapire or the patron Gustav Schiefler – supported the artists from the outset. The Fördererkreis Brücke-Museum e.V., for its part, has existed for more than 50 years as an association dedicated to supporting the museum and the shared experiencing of art. Over the years, such friendship around art has also meant Brücke-Museum has been gifted important works by many individuals and artists. These were testament to a close connection with the institution and have repeatedly provided inspiration and motivation for a fresh look at the collection – most recently when Sigrid Kaus, the widow of Max Kaus, donated 20 paintings to the museum.

The topic of friendship permeates the Brücke-Museum collections in various ways and helps shape the character of the institution – whether it’s through a friendly exchange of ideas or support from patrons; with Freundinnen (Girlfriends) by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, it has even become a subject of the collection.