The history of the artist colony in Worpswede began in 1884 when Fritz Mackensens visited the region. He was fascinated by the expansive landscape and the Teufelsmoor, and in 1889 he founded a community where artists could live and work together. Worpswede has lost nothing of its attraction today: it is still home to approximately 140 artists and artisans.
Heinrich Vogeler’s complete works at an authentic location: the Barkenhoff offers an exceptional experience. The works of the painter, graphic artist, designer and architect Heinrich Vogeler (1872–1942) are displayed in a multifaceted exhibition in the residence and atelier belonging to the co-founder of the Worpswede artist colony. The permanent exhibition shows objects from its own collection together with loans from other museums and collectors.
In 1920, Martha Vogeler, Heinrich Vogeler’s first wife, founded this atmospheric location. This is where, after separating from her husband, she brought the paintings, the old furniture and their beautiful belongings from Barkenhoff.
The Heinrich Vogeler collection, which consists of paintings, etchings and furniture, still forms the main component of the museum today. The valuable, interesting objects, artisan crafts and curiosities from Martha and Heinrich’s house in the country or artisan supplement the collection and create a very special atmosphere.
The Große Kunstschau (‘Big art show’)
The Große Kunstschau with its permanent ‘home’ exhibition displays the most famous paintings from the first generation of Worpswede painters, and represents the core of the architecturally significant Hoetger ensemble. The icing on the cake of this unique architectural masterpiece of Northern German expressionism is the renovated, ultra-modern Worpswede museum building, which was developed from the former Roselius Museum and which provides space for temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.
Works from the first generation of Worpswede painters by Heinrich Vogeler, Otto Modersohn, Paula Modersohn Becker, Ottilie Reylaender, Hans am Ende, Fritz Overbeck, Fritz Mackensen and Carl Vinnen are shown in the permanent exhibition in the historical Hoetger building. Sculptural works by Bernhard Hoetger himself round off the display.
The rooms in the modern extension, which extend over more than 500 m2, provide plenty of space for temporary exhibitions. Displays ranging from the collection by the Kulturstiftung Landkreis Osterholz (Cultural Foundation of the District of Osterholz) right up to contemporary art are shown here.
Attached to this extension is the Kaffee Worpswede, also designed by Bernhard Hoetger, which offers creative delicacies in an ambience left true to the original fittings.
Haus im Schluh
For over 90 years, the artist village of Worpswede, situated in the shade of ancient, towering trees, has proved a very special little gem for visitors. Those who leave the village centre and take the Im Schluh sandy path can leave hectic everyday life behind them. Two romantic old houses featuring the heavy, low reed roofs typical of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) are huddled together to create a picturesque courtyard ensemble, the Haus im Schluh.
Worpsweder Kunsthalle (art gallery)
The Worpsweder Kunsthalle is one of the most traditional museums here. In the early stages of the artist colony, master bookbinder Friedrich Netzel began to provide his rooms to young artists for exhibition purposes. His son Friedrich built a house at the Kunsthalle’s current location at Bergstaße 17, which he fitted out as a gallery and art dealership.
In addition to selling the paintings, the Netzel family also started to assemble a core collection of works by the founding generation. In line with this tradition, works by artists of the second and third generations were also collected, meaning that the Worpsweder Kunsthalle now possesses the most significant collection of the location’s art history, and can display works in temporary exhibitions. Since 1999, the collection and museum have been perpetuated as the Worpsweder Kunststiftung Friedrich Netzel by a committed team of experienced employees and volunteers.