Renowned Artists, Outstanding Art
A whole series of renowned artists and outstanding works of art distinguishes the Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie. As the historical term Ostdeutsche (Eastern German) already suggests, its unique art collection was assembled from a particular perspective. The works have in common connections in subject matter or the artist’s biography to those regions of Eastern Europe that were formerly settled by Germans. Alongside German artists, their Czech, Slovak, Polish, and Russian colleagues are represented. Most of the works are in the Graphic Arts Collection. There are smaller collections of paintings and sculptures. Since 2008, the constantly growing holdings of the Michaela Riese Stiftung (Michaela Riese Foundation) have been integrated into the collection.
History of the Collection
The core of the collection can be traced back to the two cofounders of the museum: the Adalbert-Stifter-Verein in Munich and what is now KünstlerGilde e.V., which was then located in Esslingen. Until the early 1980s, the museum had an inventory of around 20,000 works. Ten years after its opening, therefore, it already had just over half of the current holdings. Much of that was acquired with support from state and federal governments. That was supplemented by foundations and complete artist’s estates and a large number of permanent loans.
The museum holds around 2,000 paintings in all from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with several works from the early twenty-first century. A selection from its holdings can be seen in the permanent exhibition on the upper floor of the museum.
Sculptures and Objects
Art after 1945 is represented by Bernard Schultze, Otto Herbert Hajek, and Ben Muthofer. Several of their works are in the permanent exhibition. There is free access to the sculpture park, which has fifteen sculptures, located in front of the museum, in the municipal park, and on the facade of the museum, including the installation by Magdalena Jetelová at the entrance.
Graphic Arts Collection
The Grafische Sammlung (Graphic Arts Collection) at the KOG preserves around 40,000 works on paper from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries by more than 500 artists. They include drawings and watercolors, prints, portfolios, illustrated books, and photographs.
Its holdings include large groups of works and estates, including those of Lovis Corinth, Carl Thiemann, Emil Orlik, Alfred Kubin, August Brömse, Hugo Steiner-Prag, Josef Hegenbarth, Willy Jaeckel, Ludwig Meidner, Käthe Kollwitz, and Clara Siewert. Adolph von Menzel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Otto Mueller, Max Pechstein, Lyonel Feininger, Wenzel Hablik, Adolf Hölzel, Oskar Kokoschka, Gerhard Altenbourg, and Markus Lüpertz are also represented by important works.
With more than 2,500 prints, 14 drawings, and a reference library, the Kunstforum has one of the most important collections of the work of the graphic artist and chronicler of Enlightenment customs Daniel Chodowiecki.
Along with the Albertina in Vienna and the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, our Museum has one of the largest collections of the Czech graphic artist Pravoslav Sovak. These holdings were donated by the artist and his circle of friends in 2007 and 2009.
In the Sammlung Haselbach (Haselbach Collection), the KOG has a large topographic collection on the cultural regions of Eastern Europe that were once marked by German influence. The collection has been processed as part of a project by the Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe).
Do you have any questions about the KOG Collection?
HEAD OF COLLECTION FOR PAINTINGS, SCULPTURES AND OBJECTS
Dr. Verena Hein