Databáze uměleckých výstav v českých zemích 1820 – 1950

Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler (The Union of German-Moravian Artists)

Date:25. March 1911 – 21. May 1911

Place: Brno, Künstlerhaus

Exhibition design:Camillo Palleta

Organizer:Mährischer Kunstverein

Conception:Camillo Palleta


Organized by the Mährischer Kunstverein, this was the first exhibition of Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler and also the first to be held in the newly opened Brno Künstlerhaus, today's Brno House of Arts. The Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler (The Union of Moravian German Artists) was the first art association of Moravian-German artists. It was established in 1909 in response to the founding of Sdružení výtvarných umělců moravských (Association of Moravian Artists) which only accepted Czech-speaking Moravian artists. Germans formed a clear majority among Moravian artists. Some of them were interested in joining the Association of Moravian Artists, but since they were refused, they founded an alternative, German organisation. The founding was initiated by Mährischer Kunstverein which, in this period, aimed to build Künstlerhaus as its own exhibition space. Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler was meant to serve as an umbrella organization for Moravian artists that would organize an annual exhibition in the Brno Künstlerhaus. The Künstlerhaus became the first exhibition space in Moravia to focus on contemporary art.

The first exhibition of Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler featured 293 artworks by not only its members but also a large number of guest artists, all German Moravians. Some of them later became members of the Vereinigung, others joined the Mährischer Künstlerbund, founded two years later. Artists represented at the exhibition were known to the Brno audiences from previous Mährischer Kunstverein shows. Some of them had been exhibiting with the Kunstverein since its beginnings in the 1880s. They were gradually joined by younger artists. Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler followed the Kunstverein's effort to represent mainly Moravian artists, albeit with two changes. When the Mährischer Kunstverein began to hold exhibitions in Brno in 1882, it focused on Moravian artists in general. In practice, this meant Moravian-German artists, but not because the association ignored Czech-speaking Moravian artists, but because Czech-speaking painters and sculptors were almost non-existent in Moravia. In the 1890s, however, a strong generation of Czech-speaking artists emerged onto the Moravian art scene. These artists separated themselves from the German Moravians and created their own art organizations. The second change evident at the exhibition was the broadening spectrum of Moravian-German artists. The best of them lived beyond the borders of Moravia, most often in Vienna. Viennese Moravians regularly sent their artworks to Brno exhibitions. The second largest community of Moravian artists was in Munich, although these artists appeared only sporadically at Mährischer Kunstverein exhibitions, probably due to the greater distance. The newly-founded association of Moravian-German artists, also joined by the Munich Moravians, was an energizing factor for the Brno art world. The Vienna and Munich-based artists now felt morally obliged to exhibit in the capital of their native region and so Brno inhabitants got their first opportunity to see paintings by Adolf Hölzel (1853–1924), the founder of the Dachau landscape school. Luma Flesch-Brunningen (1856–1934), who also exhibited in Brno, donated her large painting Initiation of a Witch to the newly established collection of contemporary Moravian art in the Brno Künstlerhaus. This painting enjoyed great success when it was exhibited in Munich’s Glaspalast; it is now kept in the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen. Hugo Lederer (1871–1940), probably the most well-known Moravian sculptor working in Berlin, exhibited in Brno for the first time. The Künstlerhaus vestibule featured his sculpture Fencer, which was the model for the central figure from the fountain in front of the university in Wroclaw. The sculpture is now in the collection of the Museum of South Moravia in Znojmo.

The Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler was a general platform for Moravian-German artists rather than an art group with a specific program. It brought together artists of diverse generations and styles. The exhibition thus spanned a broad stylistic spectrum. The work of Emil Pirchan (1844–1928) reflected the Viennese painting of the 1870s, stylistically shaped by Carl Rahl and Hans Makart. Hans Temple (1857–1931), Eduard Veith (1858–1925) and Hugo Charlemont (1850–1939) represented the naturalist and symbolist mainstream of the 1890s. The show also included Maximilian Kurzweil (1867–1916) and Ludwig Wieden (1869–1947), prominent representatives of the Vienna Secession, as well as Bruno Beran (1888–1979), Gustav Böhm (1885–1974) and Hans Friedrich Wacha (1885–1964), members of the youngest generation of artists who set the tone in the German part of the Brno art scene during the Czechoslovak First republic. Compared to earlier exhibitions organized by the Mährischer Kunstverein, the spacious halls of the Künstlerhaus allowed more sculptures to be exhibited. The exhibiting sculptors included Hugo Lederer, Carl Wollek (1862–1936) and Franz Barwig (1868–1931), who, in their time, were artists of European stature. The exhibition was also important because it featured paintings by nearly two dozen women artists. In the context of the time, this was a high number. But it was consistent with the policy of Mährischer Kunstverein which had previously realized pioneering projects such as the exhibition of Klub der Wiener Künstlerinnen, the earliest women’s art association in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.      

The Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler show was the first exhibition of the oldest association of Moravian-German artists. As the first exhibition in the Brno Künstlerhaus, it marked the beginning of more than one hundred years of shows in an institution that still operates today under the name Brno House of Art. This was one of the most comprehensive shows of contemporary Moravian art that Mährischer Kunstverein had ever organized. But it also marked a shift in national representation. From its founding, Mährischer Kunstverein defined itself as a Moravian organization, regardless of ethnicity. If it largely represented German-speaking artists, it was because of the lack of Moravian Czech-speaking elites, including in the arts. The Kunstverein administration failed to see that Slavs in Moravia were aiming to establish themselves as an autonomous group that would exist in parallel to German society. In the art sphere, these emancipatory efforts resulted in the founding of Klub přátel umění (Friends of the Arts Association) in 1900 and Sdružení výtvarných umělců moravských (Association of Moravian Artists) in 1907. The first exhibition of Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler is proof that the Moravian German-speaking community acknowledged that Moravian culture was no longer united and that there were two separate currents in Moravian art, Czech and German.

Robert Janás

Further reading

Robert Janás, Výstavy spolku Mährischer Kunstverein v letech 1882–1918, in: Jana Vránová – Lubomír Slavíček (edd.), 90 let Domu umění města Brna. Historie jednoho domu, Brno 2000, pp. 21–35

Jitka Sedlářová, Vereinigung deutscher bildender Künstler Mährens und Schlesiens „Scholle“ – dějiny spolku německomoravských výtvarných umělců v letech 1909–1945, in: ibidem, pp. 45–63.

Robert Janás, Mährischer Kunstverein v letech 1882–1918. Dějiny a výstavní činnost spolku, dissertation, MU FF Brno 2001, pp. 102–107

Robert Janás, Vídeňští umělci na brněnských výstavách spolku Mährischer Kunstverein v letech 1882–1918, Bulletin Moravské galerie v Brně LXXV, 2017, pp. 56–69

Exhibiting authors
Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler (The Union of German-Moravian Artists)
Owner: (the poster is missing)

Eröffnung des Künstlerhausep. 100. Ausstellungs. Mährischer Kunstverein, Brünn 1911


Publisher: Mährischer Kunstverein

Place and year of publication: Brno 1911

Author/s of the introduction:Hirsch Moritz
Reviews in the press
Leisching Julius

Julius Leisching, Die erste Ausstellung im neuen Künstlerhause, Tagesbote XLVI, 1911, Nr. 159, Abendblatt, 5. 4., pp. 1–3

Leisching Julius

Julius Leisching, Ein zweiter Rundgang durch das Künstlerhaus, Tagesbote XLVI, 1911, Nr. 165, Abendblatt, 8. 4., pp. 1–2

Brief notes about the exhibition

Anonymous author, Besuch des Kaiser-Franz-Joseph-Künstlerhauses, Tagesbote LXI, 1911, no. 177, Abendblatt, 15. 4., p. 4

Anonymous author, Künstlerhaus Baulotterie, Tagesbote LXI, 1911, no. 203, Abendblatt, 2. 5., p. 3

Anonymous author, Theater und Kunst, Tagesbote LXI, 1911, no. 150, Morgenblatt, 31. 3., p. 4; no. 165, Abendblatt, 8. 4., p. 4.; no. 178, Abendblatt, 13. 4., p. 4; no. 175, Abendblatt, 14. 4., p. 4; no. 184, Abendblatt, 20. 4., p. 4; no. 208, Abendblatt, 5. 5., p. 3; no. 211, Abendblatt, 6. 5., p. 4; no. 217, Abendblatt, 10. 5., p. 5; no. 224, Morgenblatt, 14. 5., p. 3; no. 231, Abendblatt, 18. 5., p. 4; no. 235, Abendblatt, 20. 5., p. 4

Anonymous author, Theater, Kunst und Literatur, Tagesbote LXI, 1911, no. 198, Abendblatt, 28. 4., p. 4; no. 205, Abendblatt, 3. 5., p. 4; no. 221, Abendblatt, 12. 5., p. 4; no. 229, Abendblatt, 17. 5., p. 4

Anonymous author, (Kunstausstellung), Brünner Morgenpost, 1911, no. 74, 31. 3., p. 3; no. 79, 6. 4., p. 3

Anonymous author, (Vereinigung deutsch-mährischer bildender Künstler und Gäste.), Brünner Zeitung, 1911, no. 74, 31. 3., p. 4; no. 82, 9. 4., p. 4

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