In 1937 the National Socialists confiscated modern avant-garde works from the Kunsthalle as “degenerate art”, a fate suffered by over one hundred German museums. From the enormous number of works seized in Mannheim it is also clear how progressive the first two museum directors, Fritz Wichert (1878-1951) and Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub (1884-1963), were in building a collection. The vast majority of the total of 600 confiscated items were graphic works. As a supplement to the exhibition “(Re)Discovery – the Kunsthalle Mannheim from 1933 to 1945 and the Aftermath”, the graphic collection also addresses this theme, presenting watercolors, drawings, and print graphics seized from the Kunsthalle in 1937. Under the title "Confiscated! Return of the Graphic Masterpieces” (March 22nd to June 23rd, 2019) the Kunsthalle presents outstanding watercolors, drawings and prints that had been confiscated in the Kunsthalle in 1937. As part of the exhibition 34 works, which are now in the collections of German and international museums, return to the Kunsthalle as temporary guests. These works not only have an eventful past. They also exemplify the far-sightedness and quality standards of the directors whose collection was brutally crushed in 1937.
Curator: Dr. Thomas Köllhofer and Dr. Mathias Listl