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Max Liebermann's Garden, Berlin Wannsee

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Deutsche Version: Max Liebermanns Garten | Colomierstr. 3 | 14109 Berlin | max-liebermann.de/en


The kitchen garden in
Wannsee towards the
southeast
, 1923
Oil on canvas, 55 x 76 cm
Collection Deutsche Bank
Eberle 1923/20

Letting a nurseryman
think and work for oneself
and being satisfied by just watching
is giving away
part of ones own life and happiness.

Alfred Lichtwark
in
Der Heidegarten, 1904


© G. Jesdinsky, GartenDatenbank.de


2004-09-04
Front garden

Max Liebermann's Garden

Within 40 years Max Liebermann (1847-1935) paints more or less in nature in Holland until due to the outbreak of the first world war and later because of his age he cannot travel any more. During the last 20 years of his life he creates more than 200 paintings of his sommer house garden in Wannsee, the sommer house built in addition to the town house inherited from his parents. This town house is situated at Pariser Platz, directly on the right hand side of the Brandenburger Tor.


Lady watering
the flowers of the
Wannsee garden,
1925

In 1909 he buys the 7000 qm property at the Wannsee for 145.000 Reichsmark which today would be about 700.000 EUR. He likes to point out that this money was not inherited by his father but earned by himself through selling his paintings. Under the guidance of his friend Alfred Lichtwark (1852-1914, manager of the Hamburger Kunsthalle) and together with his daughter he designs this piece of land - meeting the fashion of the time - as a formal garden, his "little Versailles".

They are especially fond of native plants and thus they preserve the existing birch trees along the lake as well as the alleylike group of birches at the side.

On the other hand they do not like naturally looking, winding paths. They make two straigh paths instead at the border of the property, thus creating a direct connection between boths sides of the terrace and the lake. As a result some of the birches are now growing in the middle of the path. At the same time a large, pieceful lawn appears. On this lawn they plant cabbagge in times of hunger during the war and more unusual motifs for paintings develop.


Garden bench under
the chestnut tree -
Flowering chestnut
tree
, 1916

In 1940 the widow of Liebermann is forced to sell the property for 160.000 Reichsmark but is not allowed to dispose of the money. After several attempts to leave the country she dies on 10.03.1943 before deportation to Theresienstadt after having taken an overdose of Veronal.

In 1951 the property is given back to Liebermann's daughter who emigrated to New York in 1938. Until then the house was used as recreation centre for postal clerks and later as hospital. In 1958 Liebermann's granddaughter sells to the County of Berlin for 200.000 DM and when the hospital business is finished the property is rented to a diving club.

After enormous efforts the specially founded Max-Liebermann-Society succeeds in moving the club. Now the property can be used for exhibition and a popular sight is created in Berlin. From 2002 to 2005 house and garden are rebuilt for about 2.5 million EUR without public funds, only by means of sponsors and voluntary help. Because of Max Liebermann's plenty paintings an exact reconstruction is possible and even the famous little birch wood is planted at its former place.

In spring 2005 the house of Liebermann is open for the public and it is intended to finish all reconstruction work by the end of 2005.

For detailed information concerning the garden and list of the paintings exhibited see the well done and very clear catalog of the exhibition "Im Garten von Max Liebermann".



2005-01-15


Old National Gallery, Berlin

In Max Liebermann's Garden

Exhibition in the Old National Gallery, Berlin
13.10.2004 - 09.01.2005, extended until 30.01.2005



Deutsche Version: Max Liebermanns Garten

28.02.2008 19:25 | geändert von Gabi: 26.08.2011 07:47


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