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German Expressionist Collection

Red Woman, Franz Marc

Expressionism: The Total Artwork
Opens 24 May

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

We are proud to host the largest collection of German Expressionist artwork in the UK, and with support from Arts Council England are re-displaying the collection this summer.

Our new permanent gallery uses cutting edge museum design to uncover the remarkable story behind our collection. Exploring how and why German and other Expressionist artists revealed their innermost emotions through art, dance, music and drama. View our complete German Expressionist collection on our new website, launching this summer.

Look out this autumn for an exciting events programme and performance space to complement the German Expressionist gallery and to evoke the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ (the total artwork).

Supported by Arts Council England.

The collection

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.