The Collection

Raphael, properly Raffaello Sanzio or Santi (Urbino 1483 – 1520 Rome); Eight seated Bishops, c. 1516
Raphael, properly Raffaello Sanzio or Santi (Urbino 1483 – 1520 Rome); Eight seated Bishops, c. 1516; red chalk, 26.1 × 31.8 cm. State Academy Collection / Sammlung der Kunstakademie (NRW)

The renowned member of the Brücke group of artists, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, remarked in 1920, ‘You have to look at freehand drawings the way you read a letter from a close friend and also pay due attention to what is between the lines.’ The Collection of Prints and Drawings is a good place to follow Kirchner’s appeal and to enter wholeheartedly into the encounter with works ‘on paper’. The object of  our collection is freehand drawings, printmaking and also early manuscripts on parchment, artist photography and, most recently, animation, in which hundreds of drawings are ‘set in motion’. In terms of time, the holdings range from the fifteenth to the present century.

Wilhelm von Schadow (Berlin 1788-1862 Düsseldorf), Die Muse der Schauspielkunst (The Muse of Dramatic Art), after 1802
Wilhelm von Schadow (Berlin 1788-1862 Düsseldorf), Die Muse der Schauspielkunst (The Muse of Dramatic Art), after 1802; rose, yellow and white chalks, with traces of sanguine, on blue paper, 63.5 x 49.5 cm. State Academy Collection / Sammlung der Kunstakademie (NRW)

Much like Kirchner in the twentieth, the Düsseldorf painter, Lambert Krahe in the eighteenth century was convinced of the necessity of studying drawings and prints. During a sojourn in Italy, Krahe had accumulated an extensive collection of Italian drawings – in particular, such by Baroque artists active in Rome. These drawings he sold, together with graphic works by artists of other schools, in 1778, intending thus to preserve them as a teaching stock and example for the Academy at Düsseldorf; upon his return from Rome, he became its first principal. Today, his original collection is housed and researched at the Collection of Prints and Drawings on permanent loan from the Kunstakademie. Among the drawings (numbering some 14 000) and the prints (about double that number) are many works by art-historical cornerstones such as Raphael or Bernini. Krahe collected as an artist for artists and often acquired extensive complexes of work directly from his contemporaries’ studios. In 1780, he published a portfolio of engravings on his collection, which made it known beyond Düsseldorf’s boundaries even at that time.

Walter Ophey (Eupen 1882-1930 Düsseldorf); Parkwege (Paths in a Park), c. 1921-5
Walter Ophey (Eupen 1882-1930 Düsseldorf); Parkwege (Paths in a Park), c. 1921-5; crayon; 55 x 45 cm. Gift of the artist’s widow, 1954

When, in 1819, the Royal Prussian Academy of Art was established in Düsseldorf, it took charge of the Krahe Collection and extended it by some current artistic stances. The teachers of the time, amongst whom were Peter von Cornelius and Wilhelm von Schadow, were invited to make over to the Academy year by year at least one print or drawing. Occasionally a larger body of work by artists of the region, such as Theodor Mintrop, would enter the Academy Collection and thus, today, that of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast.

From the very beginning, collecting in another field has been carefully tended, not least to keep the stocks a living entity, namely contemporary art. It was precisely there, of course, that the ‘degenerate art’ campaign of 1937 left some particularly painful gaps – 500 works were lost to it. After the Second World War, the gift of high-calibre Expressionist works made it possible for this area of the collection to become a strong feature again. The largest body of modern art consists of some 3000 drawings from the estate of Walter Ophey, an artist who had belonged to the Junges Rheinland group and who developed a singular kind of coloured chalk drawing. After the Second World War, individual lights  such as Joseph Beuys, Karl Otto Götz, Gerhard Hoehme, Gotthard Graubner or Gerhard Richter were closely associated with Düsseldorf and are represented with larger sets of work. The complete print works of Antonio Calderara and Camille Graeser lend weight to Concrete Art within the collection, while Wolfgang Hanck’s recent, generous donation extends the area of contemporary art with striking instances, including smaller groups of drawings by Miriam Cahn, Silvia Bächli and Susan Turcot. The acquisitions of the nineteenth century unmistakably concentrated on German art; but from 1950, international instances once again came into the collection’s ambit; and, since the 1980s, a fine stock of Japanese wood block prints have added a further aspect to the holdings of nineteenth-century art.

Gerhard Richter (*Dresden, 1932); untitled, 1977
Gerhard Richter (*Dresden, 1932); untitled, 1977; water colour on white paper, 20.9 x 14.5 cm

Of relatively recent date is the Museum’s commitment to photography. Collecting was begun in 2002 and continues today, looking certainly to international photographers like David Goldblatt, but placing the emphasis on photography in Düsseldorf. Essential works by Bernd and Hilla Becher (ill.), donated to the Museum by the artists, form the nucleus of the collection, a constellation formed, in the interim, with series of works by Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff, Jörg Sasse, Ursula Schulz Dornburg and Thomas Struth.

The support of the Museumsverein has enabled us again and again to acquire outstanding individual drawings and prints. Although the holdings of the Prints and Drawings Collection are rooted firmly in the past, the department consciously meets the present and pursues new developments ‘on paper’ with interest. (GL)

Highlights

Holdings

The Department of Prints and Drawings at Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast keeps about 80 000 items. Roughly half that stock was collected in Italy by the Düsseldorf painter, Lambert Krahe, in the eighteenth century. As far as he was concerned, he was establishing a study collection. Krahe collected as an artist and would often acquire large complexes of work straight from his contemporaries’ studios. Among the approximately 14 000 drawings he purchased are nearly 300 by the Roman artist, Carlo Maratta, and of these, a draft composition for the altarpiece in the Cappella Cybo at S. Maria del Popolo in Rome is particularly worthy of mention. Other individual studies for that commission are in the possession of the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid. It appears to be typical, in fact, that the original collection can be meaningfully reconstructed with reference to the holdings of notable galleries elsewhere. Thus individual works and suites of work are to be found in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, in the Cabinet at Madrid or the stock of the Louvre in Paris. Of Giacinto Calandrucci, a pupil of Maratta’s, Krahe compiled a compendious selection of drawings numbering well in excess of 900. In 1778, having returned to Germany, he sold his treasures, albeit successfully asserting the proviso that they should remain at the disposal of the Düsseldorf Academy (where Krahe would be appointed the first director), as a teaching and model collection. Just two years after his sale, Krahe had already issued a book of engravings on his drawings and prints. It made the collection known beyond the city limits of Düsseldorf even then. Krahe’s self-contained collection of around 14 000 drawings and twice as many prints is today preserved and researched at the Department of Prints and Drawings as a permanent loan from the Kunstakademie.

In 1819, when the Royal Prussian Academy of Art was founded in Düsseldorf, it took over the Krahe Collection and added current artistic stances. The staff of the time, amongst whom were Peter von Cornelius and Wilhelm von Schadow and, later, Eduard Bendemann, Johann Wilhelm Schirmer and Caspar Johann Nepomuk Scheuren, were invited to make over to the Academy year by year at least one print or drawing. There were isolated instances, too, of larger suites or legacies of drawings by regional artists, such as Theodor Mintrop or Johann Anton Ramboux, entering the Academy Collection. Today these are kept at Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast.

The Collection of Prints and Drawings as a department is owed to the founding of the Städtische Kunstsammlungen – the Municipal Art Collections – in 1913. The emphasis of the purchasing activity that now set in for the museum was first placed on nineteenth-century freehand drawings, of which some 6000 remain in the holdings today. Two thirds of these originate from artists who may be counted among the Düsseldorf School; but today’s Collection contains cycles of work from all the important draughtsmen and women of the nineteenth century, such as Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus, Friedrich Nerly, Ludwig Richter, Anselm Feuerbach, Adolph von Menzel or Wilhelm Leibl.

Since the 1980s, a choice collection of Japanese colour woodcuts has rounded off the holdings of work from the nineteenth century. 

The largest entity of works of modern art consists of about 3000 drawings from the Estate of Walter Ophey. Ophey was part of the Junges Rheinland artist group and developed a special kind of coloured chalk drawing. Various gifts made it possible to set up an Expressionist collection significant in both quality and extent. The sons of Conrad Felixmüller acted with similar generosity when, in 1986, they presented the Museum with over 560 woodcuts, etchings and lithographs - almost all the prints their father made. Eva Pankok left her father Otto’s Die Passion suite of large-format charcoal drawings to the Museum early as a permanent loan (1983). Another highlight alongside several drawings, is the extensive cycle of etchings, Der Krieg (War) by Otto Dix.

After the Second World War, individual stances such as those of Joseph Beuys, Karl Otto Götz, Gerhard Hoehme, Gotthard Graubner or Gerhard Richter were closely linked with Düsseldorf, and they are represented in the Department of Prints and Drawings by sizeable groups of work. The complete printed œuvre of Antonio Calderara and Camille Greaser lend weight to Concrete Art within the Collection, while the generous gift of Wolfgang Hanck, made in 2008, rounds out the contemporary art field with striking examples, including smaller cycles of drawings by Georg Baselitz, Miriam Cahn, Marlene Dumas and Rosemarie Trockel.

The house’s commitment to photography is still comparatively new. That collection, started in the mid-1990s, certainly looks to international photographers, but places the emphasis on photography in Düsseldorf. Fifty-seven significant works by Bernd and Hilla Becher, which the couple gave the Museum themselves, form the nucleus around which in the interim, series of works by Boris Becker, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff, Jörg Sasse, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg and Thomas Struth have come to orbit.

Research

Antonio Molinari, Allegory of Painting, undated; sanguine, 26.6 x 20 cm, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf,  on permanent loan from the State Academy of Art/Land of North Rhine-Westphalia
Antonio Molinari, Allegory of Painting, undated; sanguine, 26.6 x 20 cm, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, on permanent loan from the State Academy of Art/Land of North Rhine-Westphalia

In accordance with a mandate to educate and inform along humanist principles, and in order to research the particular features specific to drawings and find and understand the links and contexts relevant to the collection, the scientifically sound active curating of the collection of prints and drawings and loans to it is co-ordinated with two further priorities in museum-related work. – Coinciding with the transferral of the former Düsseldorf Kunstmuseum to a Public-Private-Partnership in 1999, the tasks of methodical collecting and necessary preservation were and are tailored to the continuing in-house research activity, by means of a master plan developed for the purpose. Subsequently, the Prints and Drawings department has taken up the systematic foundational work on its stocks as provided for, and has published numerous findings soon after they were made, in the shape of a Neue Reihe series of scholarly holdings catalogues. It was thus possible to examine, survey and present to the public within a short time, comprehensive collections of drawings by the artists P. F. Mola, A. Molinari, G. Lanfranco and G. Baglione. The sets of these artists’ work represent only a smaller fraction of the Düsseldorf Academy Collection of some 40 000 objects – a resource which has earned a name since the mid-twentieth century as a reference collection of international significance, of drawings of the Roman Baroque, now under the roof of the new Museum Kunstpalast.

To be able to attribute or "disattribute" in a scientifically sound evaluating manner and to rigorous standards, it will not be enough to set forth the state of current research comprehensively and in a lucid manner; to be able to present any tenable conclusions in the assessment of a given artefact, you will also have to run critical stylistic comparisons and engage in fundamental archiving work. The aim, as ever, is to enrich the state of knowledge by systematically examining and reassessing the stock in question and also the greater or lesser general pictures and contexts thus gained of a particular work or body of work. The first step in scientifically sound processing, in particular where sketches, drawings and drafts or designs are concerned, is to get the custodians talking to the specialists and vice-versa. Expert debates in the house Study centre (STUDIENSAAL) or on the co-operating institutions’ premises, will consolidate extant knowledge; symposia organised along specific topics to explore and, beyond the event, stimulate further questions, will lend zest to a project at hand. – But a forum on this small scale within a scholarly research institution will be very hard put indeed to achieve what large academic libraries, with their ample stocks of subject literature, can.

Giovanni Baglione (Rome, c. 1570 – 1643 Rome), Yael and Sizerah
Giovanni Baglione (Rome, c. 1570 – 1643 Rome), Yael and Sizerah, red chalk, quill in brown, grey-brown washed, 25,7 x 18,7 cm; Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, on permanent loan from the State Academy of Art/Land of North Rhine-Westphalia

Museum Kunstpalast’s holdings of Italian Fifteenth and Sixteenth-century Drawings from the Academy Collection

With the above in mind and in line with the research focus of the Department of Prints and Drawings and its overall plan, the contacts with the renowned specialist libraries and research institutes of the Max Planck Institute for Art History – relations which were already of many years’ standing – have been intensified. Meanwhile, comparative work with originals also continues at the study centre of the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe at the Uffizi in Florence. The Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome and the Art-Historical Institute in Florence have each put project-related tools and working facilities at the disposal of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast’s curator responsible for the Academy Collection within the Collection of Prints and Drawings. Our permanent researcher for the Academy Collection has also received regular financial support in the shape of grants, or again, a work residency with the status of a visiting researcher. The foundational research activities in the Prints and Drawings collection are supported by the various archives of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast Foundation, such as the Records Centre for the Düsseldorf School, the digital Cranach-Archiv and the archives of the Zero-Foundation.

Also participating in the house’s foundational research are North Rhine-Westphalian universities such as the Art-History Department at Heinrich-Heine-Universität in Düsseldorf and the Art-historical Institute of the University of Cologne. – As part of the curricula of both institutions, seminars with original works are regularly offered in the Study Centre of the Collection of Prints and Drawings.

Collectors and Patrons

Johann Gerhard Huck; 1759–1811; nach Joseph Fratrel; Épinal 1730–1783 Mannheim; Portrait Lambert Krahe, 1806
Johann Gerhard Huck; 1759–1811; nach Joseph Fratrel; Épinal 1730–1783 Mannheim; Portrait Lambert Krahe, 1806; Schabkunst; Düsseldorf, Museum Kunstpalast, Graphische Sammlung

Lambert Krahe and the Düsseldorf Academy Collection

In 1736, Düsseldorf artist Lambert Krahe (Düsseldorf 1712 – 1790 Düsseldorf), of modest background, found himself facing the unexpected opportunity of accompanying Count von Plettenberg on his journey to Rome. There, just as suddenly, the patron died. Krahe stayed on in the Eternal City, notwithstanding that initially, circumstances were not in his favour. During the almost twenty years’ sojourn he spent in Rome, he was active not only as an artist, but also as an art agent, not least for the Elector Palatine, Carl Theodor. In these 1740s and 1750s, Krahe was able to accumulate his own full collection of predominantly Roman Baroque drawings. The freehand drawings, prints, oil sketches and books later passed over into the holdings of the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, whose founding director was Krahe. Extended in scope to include works from the nineteenth century, this collection has been preserved as a permanent loan at the Museum, today’s Museum Kunstpalast, since 1932.

Laurenz Heinrich Hetjens

Laurenz Heinrich Hetjens (Düsseldorf 1830–1906 Aachen) will be associated most readily in Düsseldorf with the city’s museum of ceramics that bears his name. Wealth came to him by marriage and henceforth, Hetjens was able to dedicate himself wholly to collecting. that was how, in the course of his life, the later donor acquired amongst other things, an exquisite body of prints and drawings. After his collection was divided among the Düsseldorf museums in 1928, the works on paper went to the Department of Prints and Drawings of what is today the Museum Kunstpalast. The portrait of Hetjens at sixteen illustrated here comes from his own collection. It was painted by his cousin, Heinrich Kipp, who had studied at the Düsseldorf Academy and taught there for a short time. Presumably it was Kipp who, before moving to Paris, introduced the young Hetjens to art.

Heinrich Kipp; Wetzlar 1826
Heinrich Kipp; Wetzlar 1826, Todesjahr und -ort unbekannt; Portrait von Laurenz Heinrich Hetjens im Alter von 16 Jahren, 1846; Technik; Düsseldorf, Museum Kunstpalast, Graphische Sammlung

The Hanck Collection

Born in Düsseldorf in 1939, Wolfgang Hanck was ordained as a priest in 1965, following studies in theology at Bonn, Freiburg and Cologne. Initially active as a chaplain and and rector, he was appointed priest (Pfarrer) of the church of Christ-König in 1986 and, from 1994, also at Heilig Geist church, in Neuss. In 1988, he began to assemble a collection of contemporary works on paper and this has since grown to include over 1800 works by just under 400 artists. In 2003, an inheritance enabled Hanck to extend the collection to sculptural works and paintings. In October of 2008, the works passed to the  Museum Kunstpalast as a gift.

The Hanck Collection is conspicuous in its diversity of subjects and provides a wide-ranging panorama of drawing in the 1980s and 1990s. Frequently supporting artists at the beginning of their careers, Hanck lay store in acquiring from individual artists either several works completed over a number of years, or complete series. The subjects Pfarrer Hanck has been drawn to are by no means subsumable as ‘religious’; they are in many cases of a difficult, temporal nature, or constitute outstanding formal solutions. ‘The works do have to have a sensory appeal. [..] in particular I like pictures that express something existential – of course, my job could have something to do with it.’

Publications

Prints & Drawings

PDF of the list of publications

For catalogue orders please contact: petra.hecht(at)smkp.de

Out-of-print catalogues are available for reference at the library.

 

Selection of available catalogues

Samurai, Bühnenstars und schöne Frauen. Japanische Farbholzschnitte von Kunisada und Kuniyoshi
hrsg. Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, Gunda Luyken und Beat Wismer, bearbeitet von Bernd Jesse, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern 2011

Mack. Die Sprache meiner Hand
hrsg. von Gunda Luyken und Beat Wismer, Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, (Ausstellungskatalog, dt./engl.), Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2011

Auf Papier. Von Raffael bis Beuys, von Rembrandt bis Trockel
Die schönsten Zeichnungen aus dem museum kunst palast, Ein Bildhandbuch / a visual handbook, hrsg. von Sonja Brink, Silvia Carmellini, Kay Heymer, Beat Wismer (Ausstellungs- und Bestandskatalog, dt./engl.), Kerber, Bielefeld 2009

In una maniera propria: Die Zeichnungen des Giovanni Baglione aus der Sammlung der Kunstakademie im museum kunst palast Düsseldorf
bearb. von Sonja Brink, Geleitw. Walter J. Hofmann. Vorw. Beat Wismer, Deutscher Kunstverlag München, Berlin 2008

Jörg Immendorff: Zeichne. Arbeiten aus seinem Archiv | Draw. Works from his Archive
mit einem Essay von Christoph Danelzik-Brüggemann (dt./engl.), Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln 2008

Jörg Sasse: d8207
hrsg. Christoph Danelzik-Brüggemann, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln 2007, (dt./engl.)

Dello stile naturale. Die Zeichnungen des Giovanni Lanfranco
hrsg. von Museum Kunstpalast, Sammlung der Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, bearbeitet von Erich Schleier, Düsseldorf 2006

Genio vigoroso ed originale. Die Zeichnungen des Antonio Molinari
hrsg. von Museum Kunstpalast, Sammlung der Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, bearb. von Sonja Brink, 2005

Disegnatore virtuoso. Die Zeichnungen des Pier Francesco Mola und seines Kreises
hrsg. von Museum Kunstpalast, Sammlung der Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, bearb. von Sonja Brink, Wienand, Köln 2002

Ruhm der Könige und Künstler.
Druckgraphik der Schule von Fontainebleau aus dem Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf - Sammlung Kunstakademie, bearb. v. Sonja Brink, 1997

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