The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents Masterpieces of the Kunsthalle Bremen: From Delacroix to Beckmann, an extraordinary selection from the holdings of the Kunsthalle Bremen which reveals the close ties between German art and French art in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to the lively dialogue between two parallel artistic streams which changed the way modern art was viewed, the exhibition also reflects the unique history and artistic discourse of this museum in a survey that starts with Romanticism and then dips into Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, the artists’ colony of Worpswede, and German Expressionism.
The Kunsthalle Bremen was founded in 1849 as a continuation of its forerunner, the Kunstverein in Bremen, an association founded in 1823 by art lovers and experts to improve society’s “sense of beauty.” Made up at first of a group of citizens who were committed to and loved art who would meet to talk about their collections of prints and drawings, the Kunstverein’s ranks grew quickly when it started to hold public exhibitions and create its own collection, which gave rise to its museum.
Fifty years later, in 1899, the society appointed its first scientific director, art historian Gustav Pauli, whose scholarly approach refined and boosted the profile of a collection that had been assembled from the private donations of its members under the aegis of non-expert leaders. Pauli based his acquisition policy on a dynamic dialogue between French and German art.
The story of the Kunsthalle Bremen is also the story of the progress of a city with global connections in business, trade, naval construction, and maritime sailing forged over the course of centuries, which echoes the journey of Bilbao as well.
October 25, 2019–February 16, 2020
– Exhibition organized by the Kunsthalle Bremen and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
– Sponsor: Iberdrola