Weimar as an area of conflict
The exhibition was already a magnet for visitors in 2019. It offers 80 new works of art this year, providing insights into the first years of German democracy - the Weimar Republic. This is the period between the end of World War 1 – in conjunction with the end of the German Empire – and the beginning of the Nazi regime in Germany. It is marked by great political, social and societal upheaval. This is also reflected in the contemporary art and culture: during these brief 14 years, a special wide variety of styles and trends arise.
The foundation of the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1919 was an important milestone in striving for new art, new people and a new society. During the early years of the Weimar Republic, the artists mostly organised themselves in strong political groups such as the Arbeitsrat für Kunst [Workers' Council for Art], the Novembergruppe [November Group] or the Gläserne Kette [Glass Chain]. Expressionism, which experienced its heyday prior to and during World War 1, is already written off and replaced by New Objectivity during the mid-1920s. Nonetheless, the full range of the classical modern period can be found during this period and the impressionism of a Max Liebermann or Lovis Corinth remains present into the 1930s.
The exhibition brings works from the Bönsch Collection together with own inventory from the Museum of Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf, creating a highly topical exhibition. It addresses the central issues of the Weimar Republic such as war experience and revolution, vibrant nightlife and social misery, searching for a new society and new forms of art, but is also dedicated to outstanding figures in art such as Emil Nolde, Carl Hofer, Max Liebermann, Georg Tappert, Wenzel Hablik and Käthe Kollwitz.