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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner letters and papers, 1905-1946.

Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig, 1880-1938.

Available at Special Collections  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - CONTACT REFERENCE  (850463* ) and other locations()

  • Title:
    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner letters and papers, 1905-1946.
  • Author/Creator: Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig, 1880-1938.
  • Creation Date: 1905-1946.
  • Biographical/Historical Note: German artist.
  • Arrangement: Arranged in 7 series: Series I. Letters and postcards (box 1); Series II. Sketchbooks (boxes 2-3 - restricted) and facsimile of sketchbook (box 3A); Series III. Copy book (box 1); Series IV. Manuscript writings (box 1); Series V. Photographs (box 1); Series VI. Inventory of books (box 1); VII. Printed Material (box 4*).
  • Physical Desc.: 1.5 lin. ft. (5 boxes).
  • Summary: Collection includes twelve letters and postcards from Kirchner, 1916-1932, discussing professional and personal matters, two sketchbooks (and facsimiles), manuscript writings, a copy book with an exhibition outline, photographs of Kirchner's work, press clippings and an inventory of his library.
    I. Letters and postcards, 1916-1932, are arranged in chronological order. Letters to Walter Dexel (1916), Ferdinand Möller, Karl Nierendorf, Hans Rohner, Max Huggler and others mostly concerning sales, exhibition catalog and the artist's health. Most notable are: a letter to Karl Nierendorf, 1927 June 4, in which Kirchner rejects an offer to participate in an exhibition because he resents Nierendorf's attempts to promote the "Brücke"; a letter to Walter Kern, 1930 April 27, discussing an article by Kern on Kirchner; a letter to Hans Rohner, 1930 March 5, concerning a mutual friend; and a letter to Hermann Huber, 1930 Sept. 6, (fragmentary) in which Kirchner defends his love relationship with Erna and gives testimony of the great importance it had in his life and work. One letter, n.d., is written on the backside of a sketch. With four postcards carrying Kirchner's stamp; a postcard to Mrs. Kirchner and a fragment of a letter received (folder 2).
    II. Two sketchbooks: One, dated 1917, contains 12 preliminary drawings in pencil, ink and watercolor for "Apokalypse" (Box 2). The drawings are tipped in and the book is bound in leather. Another sketchbook, ca. 1924-1932, contains 81 sketches in ink, pencil, charcoal, chalk and watercolor of landscapes, portraits and studies of athletes (Box 3). Some of the drawings are loose.
    III. The copy book, 1918, contains detailed instructions to Erna concerning the selection and hanging of paintings for an exhibition at the Ludwig Schames Gallery in Frankfurt am Main (1919). In addition to these technical instruction the book contains texts for the catalog and a letter to Erna in which Kirchner comments on how his illness has influenced his work. The artist states that the exhibition is intended to be a comprehensive overview of a period in his artistic life now concluded.
    IV. Manuscript writings include: an illustrated fragment of a text on art theory, ca. 1924/25; a fragmentary essay on the meaning of "seeing" comparing its function in painting and photography, ca. 1925; an essay on the painter Albert Müller, 1927; an autobiographical essay, 1937, written in English for an exhibition in New York which pays homage to Walt Whitman; and a fairytale, "Das Künstlerpaar in den Bergen, ein modernes Märchen", 1938, with strong autobiographical allusions.
    V. Photographs: Two installation photographs of Kirchner's work for an exhibition of the "Brücke" at the gallery Gurlitt, 1912, and 123 photographs of paintings and sculpture by Kirchner, 1905-1938, some captioned by the artist.
    VI. Inventory of books: An inventory (13 p.), 1946 April 19, of the library of Ernst Ludwig and Erna Kirchner.
    VII. Printed material: Press reviews of Kirchner's work, ca. 1912-1947, and press clippings relating to the "Entartete Kunst" exhibition and the subsequent sale of unwanted paintings by the Nazis, 1937-1939.
  • Language: German
  • Form/Genre: Clippings
    Drawings -- Germany -- 20th century
    Photographic prints
    Sketchbooks -- Germany -- 20th century
  • Subjects: Müller, Albert, 1831-1916 Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892 Art -- Exhibitions Avant-garde (Aesthetics) Private libraries -- Germany National socialism and art Painting, German -- 20th century Sculpture, German -- 20th century
  • Contributors: Dexel, Walter, 1890-1973. Huber, Hermann, 1888-1967. Kern, Walter, 1898- Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig, 1880-1938. Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig, 1880-1938. Möller, Ferdinand. Nierendorf, Karl. Rohner, Hans.
  • ID/Accession Number: 87-A487
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers, except the 2 sketchbooks (boxes 2-3), which are restricted because they are fragile. Contact Curator of prints and drawings or Head of Special Collections for information regarding access.
  • OCLC Record Number: 145993660
  • Source: GRI Library Catalog

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