House of Art
The Haus der Kunst is an exhibition building on Munich's Prinzregentenstrasse at the southern end of the English Garden . It was built from 1933 to 1937 with the personal participation of Adolf Hitler according to plans by Paul Ludwig Troost in a monumental neoclassicism as the House of German Art .
The house, without its own collection, organizes and shows exhibitions of contemporary and modern art . It belongs to the Free State of Bavaria and is operated by the "Haus der Kunst Foundation". It includes the Free State of Bavaria, the union of the Munich artists' associations under the name "Artist Association in the House of Art" and the patronage association "Society of Friends House of Art Munich eV". Andrea Lissoni has been the artistic director of the house since February 2020, and Wolfgang Orthmayr is the commercial director .
As part of the design of Munich as the “ capital of movement ”, Troost created the first drafts of monumental buildings for the National Socialist regime for the House of German Art and the two NSDAP buildings on Königsplatz .
Buildings and facades
The double axis-symmetrical museum building in the style of a reduced neoclassicism is 175 m long and 50 m wide in the middle, it narrows to the west and east due to building recesses. The construction is based on a continuous grid made of steel girders. The girders are clad with stone slabs so that the building looks like a stone structure. The main entrance is in the middle of the south facade, further entrances lead from the middle of the north side to the north gallery and on the narrow sides to the side wings. A 21-axis portico made of colossal, non- fluted columns that occupy the entire height of the building is in front of each of the two long sides, each of which is closed off by corner pillars. The portico on the south side on Prinzregentenstrasse was originally preceded by an open staircase across the full width; it was reduced in depth in the course of street redesigns in 1971 and demolished down to the middle section. At the rear, the basement is accessible at ground level due to a drop in the site. There a staircase leads to the level of the ground floor. The two vestibules and the staircases result in a total depth of 75 m.
The base area is clad with Nagelfluh , the external facades with limestone from the Danube valley near Kelheim. The stairs and outer floor surfaces are made of granite. A row of linden trees has stood in front of the building since the 1970s , and is a traditional avenue tree in Munich.
The House of Art is also built symmetrically inside. The middle hall, originally known as the "Hall of Honor", connects to the center of the entrance and leads through to the north gallery. To the left and right of this is a large, elongated exhibition hall, surrounded by a series of smaller rooms. These areas, which make up the central component, reach the full height of the building. The administration rooms are elongated on the south side and the former restaurant, now the north gallery, in the north. Only these parts of the building are two-story, with exhibition rooms on the upper floor. The halls in full height and the exhibition rooms on the upper floor were illuminated by skylights . The total exhibition area is 5040 m². The exhibition rooms on the ground floor can be divided or assigned as required so that several exhibitions can take place at the same time. Right from the start, the building had several elevators, a complex heating and air conditioning system and an air raid shelter , which has been used for exhibitions since 2011.
Inside, the floors are covered with Solnhofen limestone , and the door frames and skirting boards are made of Jura marble . In the central hall floors, stairs and cladding are made of Saalburg marble , doors and skirting boards here are made of Tegernsee marble.
In the east end of the northern gallery, the Goldene Bar is located in the former artist festival room. The wall paintings by Karl Heinz Dallinger were exposed again by 2004. On a gold leaf background, they show maps and sometimes exotic motifs on the origin of alcoholic beverages and luxury foods. Club P1 uses the former beer parlor in the basement of the west wing .
Planning and construction
After the glass palace in the Old Botanical Garden burned down in 1931 , the Munich artist associations Münchner Künstlergenossenschaft , Munich Secession and Munich New Secession founded the “Munich Exhibition Management” to build a new exhibition house for their annual art exhibitions and other events. In 1931 they commissioned the Munich architecture professor Adolf Abel with a new building at the same location. After Adolf Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933, he abandoned the project immediately before construction began in the spring of 1933. He personally commissioned Paul Ludwig Troost, who had already rebuilt the NSDAP headquarters in the Braunes Haus for Hitler . The building site in the old botanical garden was not sufficient for Hitler's monumental plans. He arranged the southern entrance to the English Garden as the new location.
Originally Hitler wanted to set up a “party forum” there, which would consist of the House of German Art, a museum for contemporary history and a house of the party governor, which would be arranged around a representative square. Troost rejected these plans because their space requirements would interfere too much in the English Garden. At this early point in his career, Hitler was still convinced by technical arguments and limited the project at this point to the Haus der Deutschen Kunst. In the Nazi cultural policy, the building was intended as the main exhibition building of the German Reich. The art gallery planned for Berlin from 1936 was expressly not intended to compete with the Haus der Deutschen Kunst. This was also intended to restore Munich's role as Germany's leading art city, which was reflected in Munich's NS honorary title Capital of German Art . The planning was expanded to redesign the area. The Prinzregentenstrasse originally "laid out from a picturesque point of view" became Aufmarschstrasse, the buildings on the south side of Von-der-Thann-Strasse at Finanzgarten were demolished and the Art Nouveau facade of Atelier Elvira had to be simplified on the north side . Von-der-Thann-Straße was also widened and used as a parade route.
To finance it, the NSDAP Gauleiter Adolf Wagner organized an initiative by Bavarian and German industrialists with the request to donate the building to Hitler. He was able to present the first commitments to Hitler on his birthday on April 20, 1933. An institution under public law was founded as the sponsor of the house. The constituent meeting took place in June 1933, the statutes of the establishment Haus der Deutschen Kunst (New Glass Palace) were formally enacted on July 14, 1933.
According to a commemorative plaque attached after the opening, the 18 foundation stone donors were: Hermann Schmitz (IG Farben), August von Finck (Merck, Fink & Co), Robert Bosch (Boschwerke), Friedrich Flick (Mitteldeutsche Stahlwerke), Adolf Haeuser (IG Farben) , August Diehn (Deutsche Kalisyndikat), Theodor Feise (Kaliwerke Friedrichshall), Fritz Rechberg (family company in the textile industry and multiple supervisory board, e.g. Commerzbank ), Jacob Hasslacher (Vereinigte Stahlwerke), Paul Müller (Dynamit Nobel AG), Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach (Kruppwerke), Wilhelm von Opel (Adam Opel AG), Ludwig Roselius (Kaffee Handels Aktiengesellschaft), August Rosterg (Wintershall AG), Willy Sachs (Fichtel & Sachs), Karl Friedrich von Siemens (Siemens AG), Ludwig Schuon (BASF), Philipp Reemtsma (Reemtsma). Together they raised three of the originally planned five million Reichsmarks, and the city of Munich brought in another 400,000 marks. The construction industry and the Reichsbahn made contributions in kind as donations. A large number of small and medium-sized monetary and material donations increased the total amount of funds raised by supporters to just over 10 million. Since the construction costs rose to 12 million marks in the end, the donations were not enough. Therefore, an interest-free loan was obtained from the German Society for Public Works , although their conditions were not met.
The foundation stone of the new House of German Art was laid on October 15, 1933 by Hitler. After Troost died in 1934, the construction was continued by his employee Leonhard Gall with the participation of the widow Gerdy Troost .
In 1938, Hitler wanted a House of German Architecture to be built opposite the House of German Art . Architecture and applied arts would have been exhibited there. The building should have been a simplified version of the Haus der Deutschen Kunst, without a flight of stairs and the colonnades would have been integrated into the building line. The project did not get beyond preliminary drafts.
The monumental exhibition hall is a late work by the architect Paul Ludwig Troost and, together with the approximately simultaneous Troost party buildings on Königsplatz, is one of the first major building projects of National Socialism. It is not about a specific, National Socialist architectural style, but Troost has simplified the formal language of neoclassicism from his main creative period before the First World War to an extreme, reduced details and enlarged them to the monumental. According to his own statements, in contrast to “ modern objectivity ” , Troost wanted to erect a building “felt from the soul of the people”, “noble proportions and solid material” should give the building “the character of a temple of art”.
Troost and Hitler repeatedly claimed to create a "temple" or a "sanctuary" for art. The architectural elements portico and colonnade were therefore borrowed from ancient architecture, but they remain a backdrop. The National Socialist character and the impression of the building as “monstrous” does not result from individual architectural elements, but from their bundled arrangement. The Altes Museum by Karl Friedrich Schinkel on Berlin's Museum Island is regarded as a model for Troost . The Munich building is described as a simplification of the model instead of an artistic examination of it. In contrast to ancient or classical architecture, the excessive emphasis on the horizontal is not balanced against contrasting verticals, but remains one-sided. Therefore, an “intrusive, overwhelming striving character” of the building remains. The Dehio manual describes the effect: “In its formal hardness, unadorned monumentality, the craftsmanship and material solidity, the uniform sequence of structural elements and its importance in political life”, the Haus der Kunst “is a programmatic example of the self-portrayal of the Hitler regime in the architecture. "
The building was highly valued internationally at the time of construction. At the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937 , a model from the House of German Art was a central exhibit in the German House . Gerdy Troost received the Grand Prize of the Architecture Jury.
The fact that Christoph Vitali , director of the Haus der Kunst between 1993 and 2003 described the building as “wonderful museum architecture” and praised the architectural quality of the exhibition rooms, the beauty and balance of proportions and the sequence of rooms, speaks on the one hand for the quality of the monumental rooms with optimal lighting. On the other hand, architecture historian Winfried Nerdinger interprets it as a neglect of the ideological and systematic framework of the Nazi building. In retrospect, Vitali justified his statement by saying that the walls were not to blame. Those who were responsible for the work in this house from 1937 to 1944 would have been to blame.
In National Socialism
The building was opened on July 18, 1937 with the first “ Great German Art Exhibition ” for the second “Day of German Art” with a monumental procession under the motto “2000 Years of German Culture”. The first director was Karl Kolb . The following day, the Degenerate Art exhibition began in the gallery building at the Hofgarten (today's German Theater Museum ) . Both exhibitions were coordinated by the Munich academy professor Adolf Ziegler . In addition, he had positions both in the Reich Chamber of Culture and in Joseph Goebbels Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda . Until 1939 the " Day of German Art " took place annually, at which Adolf Hitler appeared as a speaker. The “Great German Art Exhibition”, conceived as an annual sales exhibition, took place until 1944 and attracted several hundred thousand visitors during its many months, because their visit was part of the program of the National Socialist mass organizations.
In spite of the claim to be a temple of “German art”, thus of National Socialist art , the concept was commercial from the start: There was extensive gastronomy. All exhibitions were mainly for sale, with Hitler acting as the main buyer and staging himself as a patron .
The building survived the Second World War almost undamaged. During the American occupation , the building was used as an officers' mess with an entertainment program. According to an anecdote, a basketball court was laid out in the building so that markings were still visible on the floor when it reopened as a museum . In the summer of 1946, the first post-war exhibition housed a special show of individual works from the Alte Pinakothek and the international book exhibition for young people . In 1947 the show “French Painting from Impressionism to the Present” took place at the instigation of the American military government with the support of the French Direction de l'Education Publique and for the first time again showed international modern art on German soil .
From 1946 to the end of 1948, a permanent trade exhibition was held in part of the east wing under the title Bavarian Export Show, in which Bavarian companies presented their products primarily for American import companies. Arts and crafts and traditional costumes were particularly popular .
Exhibition management Haus der Kunst
The US military government wanted to give responsibility for the building to the artists' associations. In 1948, the partly re-established, partly newly founded artists' associations Munich Secession , Neue Gruppe and Neue Münchener Künstlergenossenschaft founded an association “Exhibition Management House of Art Munich eV” as the organizer of the exhibition. The building itself went to the Free State of Bavaria as a special fund. The building was divided among different users. The US Army kept the central hall, the restaurant and some adjoining rooms for their officers' club until 1955.
The west wing of the building was used by the Bavarian State Painting Collection. During the reconstruction of the Alte Pinakothek , selected works from its holdings were shown until 1958, then those from the Neue Pinakothek until 1981 and the west wing showed pieces from the State Gallery of Modern Art until 2000, when they moved to the Pinakothek der Moderne . From 2001 to 2007 the "Theater im Haus der Kunst" of the Bavarian State Theater used the west wing.
When the US Army finally moved out of the Haus der Kunst in 1955, two upscale restaurants were taken into the building as tenants. A room in the east wing opened up to the Alecco restaurant . In 1984 it became the P1 as a disco under the direction of Michael Käfer . The basement under the west wing housed the Hungarian restaurant Piroschka . It closed in 1994 and the P1 moved to the premises that it still uses today. The east wing has since been completely available for exhibitions. In addition, galleries and a cash desk area were built into the central hall in such a way that the monumental effect of the room was reduced.
In 1949, Ludwig Grote organized the exhibition Der Blaue Reiter with artists ostracized in the Third Reich who had worked in Munich and the surrounding area before and after the First World War. The architectural historian Irene Meissner stated that the Haus der Kunst had been " decontaminated by exhibitions of the formerly condemned modern art ". From 1949 onwards, the exhibition management organized the annual “ Great Munich Art Exhibition ”. The traditional carnival ball of the artist associations as a social event now took place in the Haus der Kunst. The former location of the celebrations, the Künstlerhaus on Lenbachplatz , had been largely destroyed during the war and the ball was important to finance the exhibition. In 1950 the previous German operations manager of the officers' club, Peter Ade , became the managing director of the exhibition management and director of the Haus der Kunst. He organized exhibitions with a focus on classical modernism , but also cultural-historical topics such as “Culture and Fashion” (1950) found space.
From 1955, managing director Ade organized a group of patrons for the House of Art from industry representatives based on the American model . As early as 1958, they donated annual contributions of around 500,000 marks. Half of the sum was used to purchase works by Munich artists, so that the association built up an extensive art collection. The fact that the house was supported by the artists' associations earned him excellent contacts to museums at home and abroad and made many loans possible. The Haus der Kunst often worked together with other museums and organized traveling exhibitions or participated in them. The Picasso exhibition of 1955 was based on a collection of pictures that had previously been shown in Paris, but was expanded to include 37 works for Munich. In this form it then went to Cologne and Hamburg and was the last time that the picture Guernica was loaned in Europe. In 1956, further public successes followed with exhibitions by Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh . The Haus der Kunst always saw its task also in showing artists living and established in the art world, but not yet internationally prominent, such as Henry Moore 1960 or Fritz Wotruba 1967. And it organized shows on the national art of smaller or less known countries: Brazilians Art 1959 or art from the Benelux countries 1968.
From 1956 to 1997 the German Art and Antiques Fair took place in the Haus der Kunst. Organized by the Federal Association of the German Art Trade , it was the first German sales show for the art trade.
After a massive dispute with the exhibition management about access to the Haus der Kunst, since 1961 the Free Munich and German Artists have shown works by their members in the exhibition series “Herbstsalon”, later “Kunstsalon” and “Neuer Kunstsalon” in the northern gallery of the house. As part of the cultural program of the 1972 Summer Olympics , a special exhibition on world cultures and modern art took place in the Haus der Kunst . To this end, architect Paolo Nestler built a two-story extension over the full north side. The tubular steel construction with flat glazing picked up the rhythm of the columns. Two stair towers on the outside and an orchestra in the west were clad with white panels. The extension was demolished again after the Olympic Games.
The House of Art organized three large shows with Egyptian works under Ade: 1976 Nefertiti - Akhenaten , 1979 gods and pharaohs and 1980 the show " Tutankhamun ", for which the Egyptian antiquities authority one of the sarcophagi, the famous head mask and other top-class pieces from the grave Tutankhamuns for the last time. It was the greatest popular success in the history of the house. In 1982 Peter Ade had to leave the Haus der Kunst. The Bavarian Court saw his offices conflicts of interest after 37 years in large numbers. He went to the Hypo-Kulturstiftung and in 1983 opened the Hypo-Kulturstiftung's art gallery for them . Ade's successors were Hermann Kern (1982–1985) and Magdalena Huber-Ruppel (1985–1990). In 1991 the house closed for a general renovation.
House of Art Foundation
At the end of the 1980s, Haus der Kunst had massive financial problems. Under Ade, the operation of the Haus der Kunst was completely self-sustaining. Various causes contributed to the problems. Ade's successor was unable to organize exhibitions with the same influx of visitors and thus not only less direct income but also less donations. On the other hand, all costs increased significantly. Art and culture were increasingly viewed as services and business, and insurance premiums and security costs also rose significantly. The Free State of Bavaria therefore also entered into the operation of the house. Since 1992 the House of Art has been operated by the "Stiftung Haus der Kunst München, non-profit operating company mbH". In it, the Free State of Bavaria and the Schörghuber group of companies joined forces as the main sponsor, further partners were the patronage association “Society of Friends House of Art Munich eV” and the exhibition management of the Great Art Exhibition. The founding of the foundation goes back to the commitment of the Schörghuber family to support the Haus der Kunst for at least ten years with one million marks each (500,000 euros from 2002).
In 1993, Christoph Vitali became the first director of the new organization . He opened his term of office with the exhibition elan vital. The Eye of Eros in which he thematically combined classical modernism with contemporary art. This epoch-spanning approach remained his focus also for the shows Ernste Spiele. The Spirit of Romanticism in German Art and Die Nacht . Under Vitali, the House of Art also became one of three European partners in the traveling exhibition in 1995, which for the first and only time showed works of Impressionism by the Barnes Foundation , Philadelphia outside of their own rooms.
Chris Dercon 's term of office as the next manager of the house began with the long-planned "critical dismantling" of the last fixtures from the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, the architecture of the Haus der Kunst has been back in its original state and the central hall can be experienced again in its original effect.
Under Dercon's direction, the Haus der Kunst expanded its focus from 2003 and showed architecture, film and photography, fashion and design. Dercon also addressed the building's past and the role of art in the “Third Reich”. The exhibitions with works by Andreas Gursky and Ai Weiwei were great successes with the public . During the 2006 soccer World Cup , the building was adorned with the “ Allianz Arena ” logo . Since the stadium was not allowed to have sponsor names, the lettering was temporarily removed from there. Also in 2006, the “Friends of the House of Art” auctioned the art collection it had built up since 1958 for a total of 5.2 million euros, which were earmarked for the promotion of art. In the course of the financial crisis , however, around one million of them were lost.
In 2011, the Haus der Kunst began cooperating with the Goetz Collection . Parts of Ingvild Goetz's video art collection are shown in the former air raid shelter of the Haus der Kunst . Okwui Enwezor headed the House of Art from October 2011 to June 2018 . Enwezor established connections to other cultural institutions in Munich and cooperated with the Bavarian State Opera and the Münchner Kammerspiele . In the selection of exhibitions and artists, he focused on contemporary art. In the so-called capsule exhibitions, he gave space to two young artists, most of whom had not yet had any exhibitions in Europe and whose work would often not have filled an entire exhibition hall.
In 2014 a permanent exhibition on the history of the house opened in the archive gallery . It is based on the systematic evaluation of the historical archive of the house since 2004. The exhibition house presents its past in film documents, plans and objects from the early days of the Haus der Deutschen Kunst and the post-war period.
Various problems in the organization of the house came together in mid-2014. The Schörghuber family announced that they would get out of art funding and the House of Art and only support charitable purposes in the future. In addition to the Schörghuber family, several corporate sponsors resigned from the patronage association “Gesellschaft der Freunde Haus der Kunst”. As a result, there were disputes over the direction that could be resolved in November 2014 after the resignation of Andreas Langenscheidt from the chairmanship of the Society of Friends through the election of the former Bavarian Minister of Culture Wolfgang Heubisch as his successor. The Society of Friends can also share in the costs of the general renovation of the building by the London architect David Chipperfield , which is initially planned for 2016, by changing the statutes . The Free State of Bavaria is providing 58 million euros for the project. Chipperfield wants to restore the museum to its original state, make it more transparent and also more visible from the outside. A relaxation zone with a lounge-like atmosphere is to be created in the northern part of the Englischer Garten. He wants to transform the particularly ailing west wing into a multifunctional conference and event center. Chipperfield's plans to restore the building to its original Nazi-era condition are controversial. "But such a building must not go uncommented," says historian Magnus Brechtken . Architect Stephan Braunfels supported the restoration and praised the quality of the Troost building.
In 2015, House of Art Director Okwui Enwezor became director of the Venice Biennale . In 2016, a new main sponsor was found in the Alexander Tutsek Foundation , who will support Haus der Kunst for at least three years with 500,000 euros each.
The previous exhibition management association, which was renamed the Künstlerverbund im Haus der Kunst in 2014 , brings its own problems to the running of the house. Since 2011, his large art exhibition of Munich artists has only taken place every two years. This meant that in the years without an exhibition there was no public funding, so that the association had largely used up its finances after 2012. In the next, actually exhibition-free interim year 2014, therefore, a seven-day show with a subsequent auction took place in the north gallery.
In the summer of 2017, the house's financial problems became apparent. At the beginning of 2018, a commercial director was therefore put on an equal footing with the artistic director Enwezor. It is supposed to deal with problems with administration and personnel that have not been adequately considered for twenty years. The position was temporarily filled by Stefan Gros, from April 2018 Bernhard Spies had commercial responsibility. After Enwezor's resignation in June 2018, main curator Ulrich Wilmes took over as artistic director; however, he retired in November 2018. Since then, Spies has been the sole manager of the house. Due to the financial problems, they were forced to cancel an exhibition of the video and performance artist Joan Jonas planned for November 2018 . A council of experts was also formed in November 2018 to look for a new director. In February 2020, Italian curator Andrea Lissoni came from London's Tate Modern Gallery and became artistic director. At the same time, Wolfgang Orthmayr took over commercial management.
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- Dedicated sponsor. Bayerische Staatszeitung, June 9, 2016.
- Tutsek Foundation joins Haus der Kunst. Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 7, 2016.
- Energetic sign of life. Münchner Merkur, July 26, 2014.
- Susanne Hermanski: The House of Art does not come to rest. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, January 16, 2018.
- Spiegel Online: Okwui Enwezor resigns from office , June 4, 2018
- Ulrich Raphael Firsching: House of Art soon without artistic direction. In: www.kunstmarkt.com. Retrieved January 3, 2019 .
- Due to lack of money: Munich House of Art cancels exhibition. In: www.faz.net. August 1, 2018, accessed August 4, 2018 .