21 October 2015

Mittwoch, 21 Oktober 2015


I'm not going to write about how we got here - the usual Lufthansa flight from SFO to München (although the replacement of a ill-functioning entertainment element for Arthur by a crew member while in the air was quite remarkable). Dinner with lots of meat and a quick walk and then bed was most of the day.

In the morning we are met by Günter who shares breakfast with us and lots of family news. It's always a delight to sit down with him and share what is going on in his family and in ours. We will be sharing lunch with all the family including Vera's boyfriend David, and Henri's girlfriend, Franziska (whom we have not met) on Sunday. That will certainly be fun.

The goal for the day was to visit Lenbachhaus, which is situated right next to the Propylaeum, der Sammlung, und der Glyptothek at Königsplatz. I attempted to get in the last time I was in München, but it was being renovated - opening the next day (my departure date). Arthur was able to go after Günter's birthday in Fall of 2014, so this was a repeat for him. The museum largely documents "Der Blaue Reiter" movement, a Bavarian artist's group that flourished from around 1911 to 1914. Of note were Paul Klee, Wsassily Kandinsky, Alexej van Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, Franz Marc, August Macke, and Gabriele Münter. Especially interesting to me were paintings that were done by some of the group earlier in and around Murnau, Germany. It is here that my sister studied German in the 1908s, and that Arthur visited while studying German in 2014.

The brushwork and colors remind me of the work by Maurice Prendergast, who as an American, painted around the same period of time. Some of the paintings were almost jewel-like, with colors and textures that are hard to describe.

Later paintings in the collection were also quite interesting, with some artists unknown to me.  One could see, however the influence of Otto Dix or Max Beckmann in some of their work.

We had lunch at Ella Monaco, the museum's restaurant. Arthur had suckling pig with prunes and gnocchi, and I a vitello tonato - all quite good. We sat with a young woman from Hamburg, who was visiting her doctor, and going to museums. She gave us an interesting look at Germans from the south and those from the north and what distinguishes them. Her summation of the Bavarian political mindset was quite amusing, "Simply put, they want to have a king!" Sitting in view of some of the royal monuments that mark this part of München, it was quite understandable. 

Across the street at the Kunstbau, an unusual use of subterranean space allied with the UBahn, we went to a special exhibition of works by Klee, and Kandinsky. Like the Joan Miro Museum in Barcelona, it soon became a bit much. A good effort was made to show the relationship to other painters, especially to the work of the Bauhaus in Dessau, and of its fate under the Nazis. It was a wonderful collection with great ancillary materials. We had seen, however, one to many a Klee and went back to the restaurant for a dessert.

I do need to mention the central garden of Lenbachhaus, since they are a quiet but spectacular remove from the hustle and bustle that surround them. The fall colors were especially nice with one wall of various ivies simply looking stunning. Fountains, sculpture, and a rockery all add to the Italian feel of the house, and the preserved rooms are an experience of darkness and mystery - well worth it.

After attempting a look at the collection from 1945 on (not worth the time or wall space) we make our way back to central München. We pass the foundations of the Nazi Ehren Temple, which once were placed at the entrance to the Propylaeum, etc. and that were destroyed at the end of the war. The Nazi buildings on either side of these temples still survive.

New, since either of us was here last, is a new museum/center documenting National Socialism. It is in a handsome white building right behind the foundations of one of the Ehren Temple. We're able to do one floor completely. The documentation is dense, but interesting. Having just finished Despina Stratigakos' book, Hitler at Home, and it descriptions of the propaganda value of Hitler's apartment on Prinzregent Straße, and at the Berghof, I find some of the documentation even more interesting in that it augmented her arguments. I knew of Hitler's plan to build outrageous monuments in Berlin, but had no idea about a similar program for München. We are done, however, and will leave the rest for another day. I am still thinking about our lunch companion's comment about Bavarian's wanting a king. It was her summation of the native culture, and I observed the night before how in urban München, there are rural aspects, especially in eating and entertainment establishments. I think they got a king - a king who ultimately despised and ruined them. Now they get a chance to really observe his works. So I wonder, do they still want a king?

No comments:

Post a Comment