Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main

Ludwig Meidner Archive

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Ludwig Meidner Archive

Art in exile was from the beginning the subject of numerous exhibitions of our museum. Also works by exile artists constitute the museum's most extensive collection.
Since 1994 the Ludwig Meidner Archive ist taking care of the artistic estate of the Expressionist Ludwig Meidner (1884 Bernstadt – 1966 Darmstadt) and of works by fellow artists. The artistic estates of Else Meidner (1901 Berlin – 1987 London), Kurt Levy (1911 Bonn – 1987 Cologne), Arie Goral (1909 Rheda, Westphalia – 1996 Hamburg) and H. Henry Gowa (Hamburg 1901 - 1990 Munich) are also held here.

Online exhibition on Ludwig Meidner

The new special exhibition at the virtual museum Arts in Exile presents works from Meidner's expressionist ouevre and from his years in Nazi-Germany and adresses his involvement with Judaism and the works he crated after World War II.
But the main focus of the exhibition is directed on the artist's years in exile in England, a time that he characterised in letters and  notes as a time of dire hardship and artistic failure. The extensive presentation of artworks from this period now reveals that the years in England constitute one of Ludwig Meidner's most creative phases and brought forth an impressive variety of fascinating works.

Catalogue raisonné of the paintings by Ludwig Meidner

The Jewish Museum Frankfurt, the Ludwig Meidner Society and the Citoyen Foundation are preparing the catalogue raisonné of the paintings by Ludwig Meidner. Author Erik Riedel has already published the catalogue raisonné of Meidner's sketchbooks in 2013.
Owners or former owners of paintings by Ludwig Meidner are kindly asked to contact the Jewish Museum Frankfurt in order to support our research. Of course, also any other information that may help us with the project is highly appreciated.
Press Release (PDF, 160 KB); download images in our Press area (login required)

Ludwig Meidner, An Alfred Mombert (Dedicated to Alfred Mombert), 1912, oil painting, present whereabouts unknown, © Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Catalogue raisonné of Ludwig Meidner's sketchbooks

The comprehensive catalogue raisonné of Meidner's sketchbooks is now available. About 50 sketchbooks by the artist are published for the first time in this lavish bilingual (German/English) volume.

Gerd Presler und Erik Riedel
Ludwig Meidner
Werkverzeichnis der Skizzenbücher
Catalogue Raisonné of His Sketchbooks
Edited by the Jewish Museum Frankfurt am Main in cooperation with the Darmstadt City Archives
Prestel Verlag, Munich, 2013
51 sketchbooks with 1.760 sketches are documented
bilingual: German / English, 496 pp., ca. 1.900 color illus., 69,00 €

Ludwig Meidner, one of the most outstanding artists of urban Expressionism, was forced to leave Berlin in 1935 under the pressure of inreasing anti-Semitism. He became an art teacher at a Jewish school in Cologne, and eventually emigrated with his family to England in August 1939.
After living in exile for fourteen years under poor conditions he was almost forgotten when he returned to Germany in 1953. Only gradually, his work was appreciated and exhibited, until the prices for his paintings finally skyrocketed in the 1990ies.

In September 1996 the Jewish Museum presented a first exhibition with works from Meidner's artistic bequest. The focus of this exhibition (entitled "Apokalypse und Offenbarung") was centred on works with religious subjects. Other presentations from his extensive bequest (156 paintings, 1.204 large-size drawings and numerous prints, sketchbooks, small-size drawings and sketches) followed. The Ludwig Meidner Archive endeavours to collect and document material on Meidner and his artistic work and also holds the copyrights to Meidner's œuvre.

biography of Ludwig Meidner
selected works from Meidner's artistic bequest
exhibitions with Ludwig Meidner (German)
literature on Ludwig Meidner (German)

Else Meidner, Self-Portrait with Etching Needle (abount 1925)

Else Meidner, Self-Portrait with Etching Needle (about 1925), © Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main

For the first time in over 50 years the Jewish Museum presented the works of Ludwig and Else Meidner together in one exhibition in 2002. The exhibition also travelled to London where it was shown at Ben Uri Gallery. Here the last joint exhibition of the two artists had been held in 1949.

Kurt Levy fled in April 1933 from Germany to the Netherlands and finally left Europe in 1935 heading for Colombia. His breakthrough as artist came with a solo exhibition at Biblioteca Nacional in Bogotá.

Levy's central artistic topics are landscapes and cityscapes. The contemporary press praised his talent to capture the atmosphere of the South-American cities and countryside. After Levy's return to Germany in 1960 he maintained his ability to discover the tensions within the apparently idyllic scenery.

His artistic bequest was donated to the Jewish Museum by his widow in 1994. It comprises 121 paintings, 348 works on paper (mainly watercolours, gouaches and ink drawings) and 30 sketch books.

In 1998 we presented a retrospective exhibition of Kurt Levy's work entitled "Heimat Exil Heimat". In 2002 this exhibition also travelled to Stadtmuseum Bonn.

Arie Goral (Italy, about 1952)

Arie Goral (Italy, about 1952)

H. Henry Gowa was born in Hamburg in 1902. He studied in Munich and became an esteemed stage desiger in Munich, Leipzig und Frankfurt. Here he also had his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Ludwig Schames in 1931.

Gowa emigrated to France in 1933. Later he had good connections to local resistance organisations and could escape deportation hidden in a mountain village in Southern France. After the war he became director of the Saarbrücken art academy and later of the Offenbach Werkkunstschule and a key figure in the cultural exchange between France and Germany.

His art is visibly influenced by the his encounters with Bonnard, Matisse und Picasso in France.  Gowa's post-war work is dominated by abstract compositions exploring more universal ways of expression. His artistic bequest (more than 1.200 works and extensive biographical material) is at the Ludwig Meidner Archive on permanent loan from the Henry Gowa Society.

Calendar of events
July 2018 zurück weiter
* Jewish feasts

Ludwig Meidner Archive

Erik Riedel
Phone: +49 (0)69 212 40746

Jüdisches Museum
Untermainkai 14/15
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0)69 212 38805
Fax: +49 (0)69 212 30705

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Dr. Mirjam Wenzel

Director of Jüdisches Museum
Tel.: +49 (0)69 212 38805

Michael Lenarz
Deputy Director, Archives
and Library Department
Phone: +49 (0)69 212 38546

Fritz Backhaus
Deputy Director, Museum
Judengasse / Börnegalerie,
Phone: +49 (0)69 212 38804

Daniela Unger
Director's Office / Public Relations
Phone: +49 (0)69 212 38805

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Last change: 2017, September 04

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