The Gabriele Münter and Johannes Eichner Foundation became operative in 1966, four years after Gabriele Münter’s death. Gabriele Münter and Johannes Eichner (1886 – 1958), the artist’s life partner, established the foundation in their wills. Münter had met Eichner, an art historian and philosopher, in Berlin in 1927. He recognized the painter’s talent and studied and wrote about her art as well as Kandinsky’s. The Gabriele Münter and Johannes Eichner Foundation preserves and manages the artist’s large estate, which comprises not only works of art and documents but also her home in Murnau. Johannes Eichner and Hans Konrad Roethel, who would later become director of the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, met in 1952 and became close friends. In 1956, Roethel was first permitted to see the complete collection of Kandinsky’s and Münter’s paintings, which the artist had stored in the basement of her house in Murnau to protect them from the National Socialists. One year later, in 1957, Münter, on occasion of her eightieth birthday, most generously donated significant parts of this collection to the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich. The Foundation supports research projects designed to promote a deeper understanding of Münter’s and Kandinsky’s art; the results are presented in publications and exhibitions. Its seat is at the Lenbachhaus; the two institutions have collaborated closely and fruitfully on many scholarly projects and exhibitions. The Foundation has also given works of art from its collection to the Lenbachhaus on permanent loan. One important goal of the Foundation is to prepare a catalogue raisonné of Gabriele Münter’s paintings that will document all oil paintings created by the artist with information about their provenance, exhibition history, and the relevant literature.

Münter’s house

In accordance with Münter’s wishes, her house has been made accessible to the public in its entirety as a memorial dedicated to her and Kandinsky’s art. After renovations in 1998 – 99, it now appears as it did between 1909 and 1914. Richly appointed and decorated with paintings, works of graphic art, and reverse glass paintings by Kandinsky and Münter and popular art from their collection as well as the artists’ own hand-painted furniture, the house vividly conveys the atmosphere that prevailed here before World War I.


Gabriele Münter and Her Guests
Creative encounters at the Münter-Haus
opens fall 2019

The Münter-Haus in Murnau is widely known as one of the birthplaces of modern art. Between 1909, the year she bought the property, and 1914, Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky stayed at their country home for extended periods of time. It was in Murnau that Münter broke through to a new visual idiom, and the motifs Kandinsky found in the surrounding landscapes guided him toward abstraction.

On more than one occasion, the two hosted visiting fellow artists at the Münter-Haus. In the fall of 1911, Kandinsky invited Franz and Maria Marc and August and Elisabeth Macke to Murnau to edit the now famous almanac "The Blue Rider." Having returned from Scandinavia, where she had spent the war years, in 1920, Münter would often come to her home in Murnau for much-needed seclusion, although she did not make it her permanent residence until 1931. A few years later, her partner Johannes Eichner moved in with her.

The completely redesigned exhibition turns the spotlight on the Münter-Haus as a scene of lively gatherings both before the Great War and over the decades that followed. A selection of paintings and photographs spanning Münter's long career will illustrate the ways in which it nourished the work and creative fellowship of a community of pioneering artists.

Curated by Isabelle Jansen and Matthias Mühling

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