"Galka Scheyer 1889-1945"

The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum is planning a special exhibition on this fascinating woman from Brunswick in conjunction with the Städtisches Museum Braunschweig

Only a few people are aware that it was a woman from Brunswick who paved the way for the German artistic avant-garde to find its way into the USA and the world and thus established its success. This woman was Emilie Esther Scheyer, known as Galka (Brunswick 1889 – 1945 Hollywood). She came from a well-to-do Jewish family from Brunswick who had set herself the task between the 1920s to the 1940s of globally popularising those artists whose avant-garde works lay close to her heart. Alongside Peggy Guggenheim and Katherine S. Dreier, Scheyer is among the great art patrons of the 20th century and the objective of this exhibition is to put her on a par with these other patrons and appreciate her as an icon of Modernism.

Alexej von Jawlensky, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee were her favorite artists and so it seemed natural to her to establish them as a group of artists – the “Blaue Vier” (the Blue Four). It was decided that Scheyer should participate in the sale of their works and expedite the dissemination of these artists. She was their gallerist, secretary, patron, muse and friend. Despite her importance for classical Modernism, there is no comprehensive history of research on Galka Scheyer as an individual, her family environment in Brunswick, her legacy to the world of art and her importance as an art dealer.

For this reason, the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in conjunction with the Städtisches Museum in Brunswick will stage a major exhibition on this fascinating woman in the city of her birth. Her life, her art and her tireless commitment to modern art, and also the difficulties she was confronted with as a Jewish woman at that time, will be presented in two different locations within the framework of a comprehensive exhibition. It will feature works from international museums (e.g. The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection from the Norton Simon Museum).

An important step in the realization of this show was the conference Galka Scheyer: A Jewish Woman in the International Art Business which was organized from 26-27 November 2019 by the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Brunswick together with the Bet Tfila – Research Center for Jewish Architecture, the Städtisches Museum Braunschweig and the City Council of Culture and Science of the City of Brunswick. In the course of this conference some new research results were already brought to light.

Today, as anti-Semitism and xenophobia threaten to undermine social cohesion, it is all the more important for museums to sensitize the public to this theme and to urge vigilance that what happened in 1933 must never be repeated. With this exhibition on the Jewish artist and art patron Galka Scheyer the museums in Brunswick are determined to give a clear signal.     

Contact

Prof. Dr. Thomas Döring

Head of Graphics Collection

Email t.doering@3landesmuseen.de
Phone +49 531 1225 - 2409
Fax +49 531 1225 - 2408

Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum
Museumstr. 1
38100 Braunschweig

Dr. Sarah Babin

Project "Galka Scheyer"

Email s.babin@3landesmuseen.de
Phone +49 531 1225 - 2438
Fax +49 531 1225 - 2408

Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum
Museumstr. 1
38100 Braunschweig