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Before Expressionism: Art in Germany circa 1903

Franz von Stuck (1863 – 1928) • Wounded Amazon, German, 1905 • Oil on canvas, 62.8 x 72.7 cm. • Copyright 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College • Photo courtesy of Busch-Reisinger Museum • 
Franz von Stuck (1863 – 1928)
Wounded Amazon, German, 1905
Oil on canvas, 62.8 x 72.7 cm.
Copyright 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College
Photo courtesy of Busch-Reisinger Museum
Before Expressionism: Art in Germany circa 1903: An Exhibition for the 100th Anniversary of the Busch-Reisinger Museum
CAMBRIDGE  •  Busch-Reisinger Museum  •  Ongoing
This show explores the less well-known period of art in Germany just before the emergence of expressionism. It presents trends in German art, which reacted against the style approved by the Academy and the establishment. Naturalist painters such as Lovis Corinth, Max Liebermann, Wilhelm Trübner, and Lesser Ury are featured. The artists Max Klinger, Franz von Stuck, Hans Thoma, and Heinrich Vogeler, who turned away from the material world in favor of the realm of myth and imagination, are represented. Emil Nolde and Paul Klee are among the artists whose work displays a more satirical response to contemporary life.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the Busch-Reisinger Museum (1903- 2003) on 11 November, this exhibition, drawn primarily from Harvard's collections, concentrates on drawings and prints. Also included are important paintings by Paula Modersohn-Becker and Franz von Stuck that were recently acquired in honor of the anniversary. On view are some 40 paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs drawn primarily from the Museum's collection.

Founded as the Germanic Museum by scholar Kuno Francke and currently the only U.S. museum devoted to promoting the appreciation of art from the Middle Ages to the present in the German-speaking countries and the related cultures of Central and Northern Europe.

The Museum's deep and wide-ranging collection includes important holdings of Austrian Secession art, German expressionism, 1920s abstraction, and material related to the Bauhaus, including archives of Lyonel Feininger and Walter Gropius. The Museum's holdings also encompass notable collections of late medieval, Renaissance, and baroque sculpture, 16th-century painting, and 18th-century porcelain. An intensive program of acquisition has resulted in a broad and strong representation of post-1945 German art, with particular strengths in drawings, prints, and photographs. The Busch-Reisinger's collection of multiples by postwar artist Joseph Beuys is among the most comprehensive in the world.

To celebrate the Museum's 100th anniversary, generous friends and supporters have donated a rich selection of artworks, which have been published in a catalogue entitled Birthday Presents. The collection includes major paintings such as Franz von Stuck's Wounded Amazon (1905), an early landscape by Paula Modersohn-Becker, oils by Willi Baumeister and Oskar Schlemmer, and a 1960s abstract painting by Ernst Wilhelm Nay, and many other works.

Harvard University Art Museums Web Site

Contact: Tel: (1) 617 495 23 97

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