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"Before Expressionism: Art in Germany circa 1903. An Exhibition for the 100th Anniversary of the Busch-Reisinger Museum"
2003-10-24 until 2004-02-15
Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard
Cambridge, MA, USA United States of America

This fall, Harvardís Busch-Reisinger Museum marks its 100th anniversary of collecting, studying, and presenting the art of German-speaking countries and the related cultures of Central and Northern Europe. Founded as the Germanic Museum by scholar Kuno Francke and currently the only museum in the United States devoted to promoting the appreciation of art from this area of the world from the Middle Ages to the present, the Museum grew out of Harvardís commitment to the study of Germanic culture and a dedication to creating museums that are exceptional interdisciplinary resources. Today, the Busch-Reisinger Museum is distinguished by its collection, its unparalleled leadership in advancing the appreciation of Germanic art within the United States, and its role in shaping the development of scholars and leaders in the field.

The Museumís deep and wide-ranging collection includes important holdings of Austrian Secession art, German expressionism, 1920s abstraction, and material related to the Bauhaus, including archives of Lyonel Feininger and Walter Gropius. The Museumís holdings also encompass notable collections of late medieval, Renaissance, and baroque sculpture, 16th-century painting, and 18th-century porcelain. An intensive program of acquisition has resulted in a broad and strong representation of post-1945 German art, with particular strengths in drawings, prints, and photographs. The Busch-Reisingerís collection of multiples by postwar artist Joseph Beuys is among the most comprehensive in the world.

"The Busch-Reisinger Museumís impact on the study and appreciation of the art of German-speaking countries has been unmatched by any other U.S. museum," said Peter Nisbet, Daimler-Benz Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum. "Through its 100 years of vigorous collecting, teaching, and researching art of this culture, the Museum has built a foundation in the United States for the popular appreciation of German art. The Busch-Reisinger Museum has also played a seminal role in shaping the study of art history at Harvard, and, in turn, throughout the United States. It has been my great privilege to continue the pioneering traditions of this important institution."

Since 1983, the Museumís scholarly and collecting activities have been directed by Nisbet in collaboration with the director of the Harvard University Art Museums. A European group of patrons supports the institution, a rare circumstance among art museums in the United States. Founded in Germany in 1983, the Friends of the Busch-Reisinger Museum (Verein der Freunde des Busch-Reisinger MŁseums) now numbers over 240 members based in Germany as well as in Austria, Switzerland, and other countries. This dynamic, internationally focused group supports many facets of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, making possible an active exhibition and publication program, curatorial internships, and a wide range of important acquisitions.

IMAGE
Franz von Stuck (1863 Ė 1928).
Wounded Amazon, German, 1905.
Oil on canvas,
62.8 x 72.7 cm.
Copyright 2003 President and
Fellows of Harvard College.


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