Ludwig Grote

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Hans Wilhelm Karl Ludwig Grote (born August 8, 1893 in Halle an der Saale , † March 3, 1974 in Gauting near Munich ) was a German art historian .


Studied (1912 archeology) in Jena, (1912 architecture) TU Braunschweig, interrupted by participating in the First World War (ended as lieutenant on the right), after passing the preliminary examination in Braunschweig (1919) he switched to (in the winter semester 1919 art history) University of Halle-Wittenberg, (1920 art history) Munich, and received his doctorate in 1922 (under Paul Frankl , whom he had followed to Halle-Wittenberg) with a thesis on the prints of Georg Lemberger .

In 1923 he received a work contract in Dessau for the production of a catalog for the Old Masters Collection in the Amalienstiftung there . From 1924 to 1933 he was the state curator of Anhalt , and from 1927 he was a part-time director of the picture gallery he founded in Dessau (Palais Reina). As a state curator, he was responsible for general art and monument preservation, the restoration of the former ducal palaces and gardens that had been neglected for decades (especially the restoration of the Wörlitzer Park is his merit), as well as for the art association with the organization of changing exhibitions.

During this time he was personal advisor to the mayor Fritz Hesse , initially for the transfer of the politically highly controversial Bauhaus from Weimar to Dessau; At that time he not only negotiated with Walter Gropius , but also in 1930 just as successfully in Berlin with the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe , who was to become the last director of the Bauhaus.

In 1933 Grote was referred to by the National Socialists and their press as a "cultural Bolshevik" because of his close ties to the Dessau Bauhaus as well as his acquisition policy for the picture gallery, and because of the law to restore the professional civil service, he left his office as state curator of Saxony-Anhalt and director of the gallery in Dessau retired “at my own request”. Grote could continue to publish.

After freelance work in stone restoration (Potsdam and Berlin), writing and work in the Munich art trade, he took part in the Second World War until 1945 , most recently with the rank of major .

After 1945, Grote organized a series of sensational exhibitions at the Haus der Kunst in Munich :

  • The blue Rider. Munich and the art of the 20th century. 1908-1914. (Munich 1949, Basel 1950)
  • The painters at the Bauhaus. (Munich spring 1950)
  • Oskar Kokoschka 1907–1950. (Munich September 1950)
  • Max Beckmann in memory of 1884–1950. (Munich June – July 1950)
  • Toulouse-Lautrec the graphic work. Ludwig Charell Collection. (Munich 195)

In 1951 he became the first director of the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg, and from August 1958 he was general director. He carried out the reconstruction of the museum together with the architect Sep Ruf in the spirit of the international Bauhaus style . His acquisition policy for the Germanisches Nationalmuseum is characterized by universality.

One of his first tasks was to organize the centenary of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, in particular with a large exhibition "Rise of the Modern Era" (July 15 - October 15, 1952). Due to an agreement with the city, he was able to continue his exhibition activities on modern art in what was then the Franconian Gallery: 6. Pablo Picasso, etchings & lithographs, 1905–1951. Traveling exhibition 1952. 7. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Dr. F. Bauer / Davos, 1952. 8. Wassily Kandinsky works 1912–1942, February 1954. etc.


On August 4, 1927, Grote married the writer Gertrud Maud, daughter of the doctor Wilhelm Schmitt and his wife Marion. Her children are the art historian and museum expert Andreas Grote, born in 1929, and the writer Christian Grote, born in 1931 .



  • Ulrike Wendland: Biographical handbook of German-speaking art historians in exile. Life and work of the scientists persecuted and expelled under National Socialism. Part 1: A – K. Saur, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-598-11339-0 , pp. 251-255.
  • Birgit Jooss : The diary of the art historian Ludwig Grote from 1947. In: Anzeiger des Germanisches Nationalmuseums 2010, pp. 306–307.



  • Ludwig Grote: Sketchbook from the years 1806 and 1818, Friedrich, Caspar David. - Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1994.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Grote, Gertrud Maud in The Faces of the German Art Archives , German Art Archives in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum