04.02.2022 – 13.11.2022
Thanks to his widely vaunted communication skills and the ability to forge genuine, unselfish friendships, August Macke was surrounded by a large circle of friends and artists. At an early stage he also had the good fortune to cross paths with people who recognized and promoted his artistic talents, and to make the acquaintance of a woman with whom he forged a deep, life-long, loving partnership.
Relying on significant works and documents, our exhibition traces some of the artist‘s most important contacts and ties of friendship in the Rhineland while considering themes and motifs that were characteristic of Macke and the Rhineland Expressionists. The show comprises a total of six sections, thus temporarily supplementing the presentation on Macke‘s life and work, which is on permanent display in his former residence and studio.
Arthur Samuel, who was a close friend of Macke, the artist‘s family, and the circle of Rhineland Expressionists, is comprehensively presented here for the first time. He was not only a prestigious physician and musician in Bonn but also the leader of Bonn‘s Jewish community up to 1938.
The show also highlights August Macke‘s first patron and supporter, Alfred Heinrich Schütte. Schütte financed the artist‘s study at Düsseldorf‘s art academy. In return, Macke gave him works which illustrate the rapid development of the young artist from 1904 up to his adoption of a characteristic style around 1910.
August Macke‘s only student, Paul Adolf Seehaus, began working in the artist‘s studio in 1912. He is represented in the exhibition with several works, among which are previously unknown pieces from the estate of Carola Giedion-Welcker, a close and long-time companion of Seehaus who in later years went on to become Grande Dame of Switzerland‘s art scene.
Another focus of the show are artistic handicrafts done by August Macke, Fifi Kreutzer, and Franz M. Jansen. The artists designed and created them with the goal of re-connecting art and handicrafts and artistically fashioning their own, personal living environments.
A motif and theme that runs through all phases of August Macke‘s work, and is particularly visible in his vase and embroidery design around 1912, is the depiction of lovers. It is inseparable from his own happy marriage.
Schloss Dilborn on the lower Rhine is revealed in our show as a place of encounter and topos. The artist couple Heinrich Nauen and Marie von Malachowski lived there beginning in 1911. They were visited by numerous guests active in the fields of art and culture who spent lengthy stays with them such as Erich Heckel and Helmuth Macke.
Several works that have recently entered our collection as gifts or permanent loans are presented for the first time as part of our exhibition.