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Germany innovates to offer art to the public: E-catalogue raisonné and vaccination centre exhibition

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

At the end of last year, Max Beckmann’s oeuvre entered the public domain, with it being the 70th anniversary of the artist’s death. The Kaldewei Kulturstiftung had been anticipating this moment, spending the last five years researching and collating a catalogue raisonné, which it published online this week.

Max Beckmann, 'Temptation' (1936-7) [Oil on canvas]. Photo: Fred Romero via Flickr

Each entry has high-resolution imaging complete with a magnifying tool, and extensive listings of exhibition history, provenance information and bibliographies. Catalogues of this calibre are most commonly acquired for a small fortune in the form of an unwieldy coffee table book. This is a significant public contribution which will widen accessibility to Beckmann’s work for scholars and German expressionism aficionados alike, particularly while gallery doors remain woefully shut. Feast your eyes on the catalogue here.

Meanwhile, in the small city of Straubing in Bavaria, an artists’ association concocted an ingenious solution when their exhibition was cancelled due to lockdown restrictions. Since Thursday, 80 paintings, sculptures and installations have been exhibited in a COVID-19 vaccination centre, curated around the socially distanced chairs of the waiting rooms.

The symbolic synergies of hope and security from offering art and vaccination under one roof were not lost on the Bavarian Minister for Science and the Arts, Bernd Sibler: ‘Die Kunst schenkt uns wie die Impfung Hoffnung und Halt in diesen schwierigen Zeiten’ (Art, like vaccination, gives us the gift of hope and stability in these difficult times). Particularly exciting for Erich Gruber, the chairman of the association, is the untapped audience amongst the vaccinees; the opportunity to reach people who may not normally visit art galleries, pandemic or not. Read Süddeutsche Zeitung’s full report here.


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