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Rolf Horn Foundation

The Rolf Horn Foundation collection

It is one of the radical artistic responses to the period between 1905 and 1925 which was marked by societal and political change: German expressionism. The Rolf Horn Foundation collection concentrates precisely on this stylistic era.

Here, it directs its attention to the work of artists such as Emil Nolde, Ernst Barlach and Christian Rohlfs – some of the most important representatives of this period, whose roots are in Schleswig-Holstein. 

The works of these North German expressionists harmonises with further central items in German art history: with paintings and graphical major works from the artists’ group “Brücke” [Bridge], works by Alexej von Jawlensky and Käthe Kollwitz‘, Max Beckmann and further important 20th century artists.

Expressionism, for Rolf Horn that meant diverse art which mirrors the awakening and upheavals of a brief, but efficacious era: for him, his art acquisitions always concerned expression, humanness and messages from difficult times. Right from the outset, the collector focussed especially on human images.

This is shown by the heads, also self-portraits, with which the “Brücke” artists – Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff, Heckel, Pechstein – questioned themselves and the world. This is shown by the human images in which Käthe Kollwitz integrated her grief about humanity or Max Beckmann his sceptical distance.

Rolf and Bettina Horn’s collection found its way to Schleswig in 1988. Rolf Horn liked the Schloss Gottorf museum grounds: the seemingly homely beautiful location; the multitude of historic and modern art and cultural-historical collections, the different types of architecture on the grounds and last but not least the park with its options for presenting sculptures.

Since 1995, Bettina Horn continues her husband’s legacy by developing the inventory circumspectly and with a view to the future, in accordance with her husband’s wishes, the art friend and collector who wished to pass on everything dear to his heart.

Today, the collection encompasses some 450 works, of which graphic works form the majority. Here, the time frame of the collection was extended to the present with important individual German art items.

Here, Berlin artists such as Hans Uhlmann or Werner Heldt as well as Matthias Mansen, who has opened a new dimension for wood carving, are a major focus of attention.

Schleswig-Holstein State Museums
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