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Apartment of Max Kaus (1958–1977)

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Max Kaus in front of his painting Sigrid with Anthurium at Potsdamerstr.44, 1975, photo: Hans Kinkel

Max Kaus, Sigrid mit Anthurium, 1975 
Brücke-Museum, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

In 1958, the artist Max Kaus and his third wife, the dancer Sigrid (née Reinke), moved into a spacious apartment in the wealthy neighborhood of Lichterfelde West, not far from one of Berlin’s oldest villa districts. Kaus was already 68 years old by then and had been a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts for several years. After moving in, he mostly continued working in a large studio space provided by the art academy. When he stopped teaching in 1968, however, he no longer had that option and made his home at Potsdamer Straße 44 the main site of his artistic work. He thus converted two attic rooms above the apartment into his studio.

Max Kaus' studio in the attic of Potsdamer Strasse 44, ca. 1970, photograph, Brücke-Museum

Once again, his own home and domestic life would increasingly find their way into his paintings. Sigrid Kaus often featured prominently in these works, for example in the painting Sigrid mit Anthurium from 1975, which depicts a scene in the couple’s living room. It shows Mrs. Kaus sitting on a blue sofa, her arms propped up on a table with a tea set, while the painter’s own face appears in the mirror behind her.

Sigrid Kaus kept the apartment on Potsdamer Strasse after her husband’s death. For more than 40 years, she organized changing thematic exhibitions of the artist’s work there, to which she invited selected guests. As a result of her commitment, a memorial plaque for Max Kaus was installed on his former home and studio in 1999.

Isabel Fischer

Max Kaus, S.Bild mit S.Bild, 1968, Brücke-Museum, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

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