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5.9.05

New Max Ernst Museum

Max Ernst Museum, Brühl, designed by Thomas van den ValentynI was very impressed by the Max Ernst retrospective at the Met, when I was in New York in July. I had already been an admirer of Ernst's groundbreaking work, but I learned more about his later career from that exhibit. So, I was interested to learn about a new Ernst museum, from an article (Une collection Max Ernst exemplaire, September 4) by Philippe Dagen in Le Monde. The Max Ernst Museum (Web site only in German at the time of this writing) opened in Brühl, the little town near Cologne where the artist was born in 1891, on September 4. When Ernst left Germany definitively in 1922, he broke with his hometown, never to return until an exhibit of his work was given there in 1951 (My translation):

In 1966, he refused to be made an honorary citizen of Brühl, to which he nevertheless donated a fountain in 1971. It was in Paris that he died in 1976, and it was also in Paris, New York, and Berlin that there were retrospectives that have placed him in the first rank of surrealism. To get back on its feet in this battle, Brühl held nothing back. In 1984, the town acquired the Glaspavillon, a neo-Baroque building of three parts in a U shape, built in 1844. Originally an entertainment facility where, supposedly, the teenage Ernst went to dances, the Glaspavillon was made into a center for children in 1919. In 2001, it was decided to recreate it as the Max Ernst Museum, and in the same year, a competition selected the plans of Cologne architect Thomas van den Valentyn, from a group of 36 finalists. [...]

Other Articles:

Andreas Rossmann, Kosmische Heiterkeit im Haustheater (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 3)

"Max Ernst ist nach Hause gekommen": In Brühl wurde das Max Ernst Museum eröffnet (Westdeutsche Rundfunk Köln, September 3)

Anna Kirberich, Späte Hommage für Max Ernst: Museum zu Ehren des Künstlers öffnet im September (Westdeutsche Rundfunk Köln, August 12)
One part of the collection comes from the original holdings of the town of Brühl, gifts from the artist or art purchased by the town beginning in 1969, focused on the first 10 years and the final 20 years of his career. A second part brings together an exhaustive collection of Ernst's prints, from expressionistic works in 1911 to the final lithographs of the 1960s and 70s. There is also the private Schneppenheim collection, purchased in 1999 by a Cologne bank, the Kreissparkasse Köln, which donated it to the museum. In the same year, the same back purchased 57 sculptures, and the nearly complete set was permanently loaned to the museum. In 2005, the bank once again purchased for the museum the 34 paintings that Ernst gave to Dorothea Tanning, his companion since 1942. Each year, in a ritual of love, he completed a small canvas, each of which had to have the letter D, Dorothea's initial, included in the work. This set of works is one of the artist's best, technically inventive, humorous, and light-hearted.
Curators have inaugurated the new museum with a new Ernst retrospective, Die Eröffnungsausstellung des Max Ernst Museums, open until March 5, 2006. The Max Ernst Museum (Web site only in German at the time of this writing) opened in Brühl, the little town near Cologne where the artist was born in 1891, on September 4.

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