Club 53 (Kassel)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Club 53 , also of friends , was a brainstorming circle that the implementation of the documenta 1 in Kassel prepared. The Club 53 is considered to be the nucleus of the documentation .


In 1953, after initial experiments as a curator in the Hessian Secession , Arnold Bode found a circle of fellow campaigners and friends who wanted to realize the utopian documenta project in the war-torn ruins of the city of Kassel. The Club 53 met mostly in private house of Arnold Bode. It was decided to set up a registered association with the aim of organizing documenta 1, with the association name European Art of the 20th Century with the subtitle Society for the preparation and implementation of an event on the occasion of the Federal Garden Show 1955 .

On April 28, 1953, the association was entered in the Kassel register of associations under the name of Occidental Art of the 20th Century , which has now been changed, on the occasion of the 1955 Federal Garden Show . The chairmanship was taken over by the Raiffeisen director Heinz Lemke , whose deputy was the former court president Erich Lewinski . The circle of documenta founders around Arnold Bode unified the members of the Bundestag Adolf Arndt , Ludwig Preller , August-Martin Euler , the features editor of the HNA Hilde Roemer-Bergfeld , the curator of the Hessian State Museum Herbert von Buttlar , the Darmstadt director of the Design Council Ulrich Gertz , the director of the Kassel State Works Academy Stephan Hirzel , the District President Fritz Hoch , the District Administrator Hans Kuprian , the Lord Mayor Lauritz Lauritzen , the landscape planning professor Hermann Mattern , the State Theater Director Manfred Schaffner , the Director of the State Art Collections Kassel Hans-Erasmus Vogel and the architect Robert Völker .

The advisory working committee included Werner Haftmann , the head of the Hanoverian Kestner Society Alfred Hentzen , the director of the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe Kurt Martin and the sculptor and director of the Frankfurt Städelschule Hans Mettel . Ulrich Gertz initially acted as secretary, who was replaced by Herbert von Buttlar in 1955.

Attempts were made to win over potential donors and lenders to organize documenta 1. Heinz Lemke had his friend August-Martin Euler, who was also a member of the association, draw the attention of his party friend, the Federal President and trained art historian Theodor Heuss , to the exhibition plans. Theodor Heuss took over the patronage and the Ministry for All-German Issues and the Federal Ministry of the Interior agreed to support the art show with DM 100,000 each. However, the payment was linked to a liability committee for a possible deficit , which the city of Kassel assumed. The state of Hesse subsidized the association with 100,000 DM from funds from the state sports betting . It was not until December 1954 that the curatorial work on documenta 1, which took place from July 15 to September 18, 1955, began.

On the occasion of documenta II in 1958, the association was transferred to documenta GmbH . The city of Kassel provided the share capital of DM 20,000 with DM 19,400 and the painter Fritz Winter with DM 600.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Heinz Lemke: in Arnold Bode on his 75th birthday . (Ed.): Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel, p. 1.1.8
  2. Harald Kimpel: documenta. Myth and Reality. Dumont Verlag, Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-7701-4182-2 , p. 106
  3. Kimpel, pp. 106, 166f, 249
  4. Kimpel, p. 166
  5. Kimpel, pp. 249f.