Please note the German Expressionist gallery is now closed. The collection will return to a new gallery display in Spring 2014.
The closure of the gallery will enable exciting new developments for Leicester’s German Expressionist Art collection. Following a major award from Arts Council England, work on the collection is now underway, covering three major strands:
- The digitisation of the artworks in the collection and their placement online with a new dedicated website, including, digitised documents, books and photographs. In tandem with the website – a ‘living portal’, with additional material, podcasts, interviews with artists’ descendants, museum visitors and scholars – material designed to offer new ways to explore, respond to and learn about the artworks.
- Commissioning new written reports on the collection, covering its origins and significance and major strengths.
- The development of a new gallery space, to open Spring 2014, incorporating a new flexible performance and film screening space; with iPad and other linked learning resources to connect the space to additional digital content. This will complement a hang of selected German Expressionist and related oil paintings and works on paper. Placed together, the above developments will present Leicester’s acclaimed German collection in a new light, enabling visitors to explore and respond to it in much more depth than ever before.
Leicester's has a remarkable collection of German Expressionist Art. Founded in Leicester during the dark days of war, and now with over 450 artworks, the collection is acclaimed as the finest of its kind in the UK.
The initial collection began with works acquired from the groundbreaking exhibition ‘Mid-European Art’, which took place at the museum in 1944. The exhibition featured unique works from private collections, which had been brought to England and safety by refugee artists and collectors.
Expressionist artists sought to liberate powerful emotions in their art, which they believed lay beneath the surface appearance of everyday life. Artists in the collection include Marc, Kandinsky, Munter; Heckel, Kirchner, Jawlensky and Schmidt-Rottluff. Artists preceding, or influenced by Expressionism also enrich the collection, including Liebermann, Feininger, Kollwitz and Grosz.
Funding support for works in the collection has been received from The Art Fund, The V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the City of Leicester Museums Trust.