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Live-in studio of Max Kaus (1923–1943)

Living and Working Network(ing)

In 1923, Max Kaus married his longterm girlfriend, the porcelain painter Gertrud (“Turu”) Kant. Their new circumstances required a new living situation, and the couple thus moved into a shared home on Mommsenstraße in Charlottenburg. The rented apartment offered enough space for both Kaus and Turu to not only live here, but also pursue their artistic work. Kaus’ white long-haired cat Kasperl, with whom the painter had already shared his previous home, also moved in.

The couple lived here for a total of 20 years. Their own four walls became a safe haven shielded from the world outside, Kaus created some of his most personal works here. His art repeatedly offered insights into their private living conditions: as in his previous apartment at Guerickestraße 2, the painter not only captured the furniture and everyday objects, but also and above all his wife. He showed her performing various activities at home—whether working as a porcelain painter, walking through the rooms, or petting their cat.

At the same time, they regularly had guests over, including the writer Ernst Morwitz and the Brücke artists Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Their familiar life on Mommsenstraße would come to an abrupt and painful end in 1943 when a bomb struck the building during World War II. The couple survived unscathed, but the entire apartment was gutted by fire, destroying around 200 paintings.

Isabel Fischer

Explore Berlin through the Eyes of the Brücke Artists
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