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Stop 5 on Audio Walk: A Bridge to the Future

This audio walk developed by the artist duo Po:era takes us to six addresses in Friedenau where the Brücke artists lived, as well as their friend, the painter Emma Ritter, and Emy Frisch, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s future wife and the photo documentarian of the group. From their perspective, we learn more about the people behind the art of the Brücke and how they challenged the conventions of their era outside of their artistic work.

Across six chapters, Po:era draws on historical facts to tell fictionalised stories that could have occurred at the different locations in one way or another. Based on classic radio play formats, the scenes are embedded in an accompanying narrative that not only contains information about each of the addresses and tips for the walk through Friedenau, but also repeatedly makes links back to the present day and situates the accomplishments of the artists’ group in contemporary discourses.


We recommend completing the audio walk in the suggested order and in one go, which should take approximately 90 minutes. The start point is at Durlacher Straße 15, near Bundesplatz S-Bahn station. The route to each of the next stops is marked on the map, which makes it easier to find your way around if you have location services enabled on your smartphone. Each chapter has photographs to help identify the correct buildings, but they can also be accessed in any order and from the comfort of your own home. Accompanying music at the end of each chapter enhances the walks between the stops and gives listeners a feel for the period when the Brücke artists lived in Berlin. Good-quality headphones will provide the best listening experience.

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Live-in studio of Otto Mueller (1916–1919)

Living and Working

“On the walls of his small, modest attic flat in Friedenau, he had conjured up a kind of paradise where his ‘bathers’ frolicked. It is a captivating series, certainly one of the best that Otto Müller [sic] has created.”

Paul Westheim, art critic and Otto Mueller’s neighbour at the time

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Otto Mueller, Maschka Mueller and Eugen Meyerhofer in Otto Mueller's apartment in Wilhelmshöher Straße 18, Berlin-Friedenau, around 1918, photograph, Brücke-Museum

Otto Mueller was thrilled to invite his neighbour Paul Westheim into his home; he showed Westheim the frieze he had just finished beneath the ceiling of his living room. Whereas the artist had painted entire walls with large-scale figures and ornaments in previous dwellings, he opted for a discreet strip of female nudes on Wilhelmshöher Straße. Inspired by Pompeian frescoes, he executed it with a matt distemper paint.

Wilhelmshöher Straße 18-19, ca. 1930, © edition Friedenauer Brücke

The historical photograph not only documents Mueller’s wall painting, but also the short period between his return from the First World War and his appointment as professor at the Art Academy in Breslau in 1919. Next to him, we can see his wife Maschka Mueller (née Meyerhofer), her nephew Eugen Meyerhofer and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, who lived just a few minutes walk away with his partner Emy Frisch (Schmidt-Rottluff from 1919 onwards).

Friedenau was very much an artists’ area at this time: Erich Heckel, who had taken over Mueller’s studio in nearby Mommsenstraße (Markelstraße since 1927), and Max Pechstein were also among its residents. Once Mueller eventually moved to Breslau, the artist and co-organiser of the Neue Secession (New Secession) Georg Tappert became the studio’s new tenant.

Valentina Bay

Explore Berlin through the Eyes of the Brücke Artists
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