The Nationalgalerie and the Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie are celebrating the acquisition of two important works from the first half of the 20th century.
Kirchner’s late painting, "Max Liebermann in His Studio”, was purchased with the proceeds of a bequest from Manuela Müller, a long-time friend of the gallery. Leaving a large part of her estate to the Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie, she stipulated that it should be used to purchase a Modernist work for the gallery. Ms. Müller requested that Prof. Dr. Peter-Klaus Schuster, the former Director-General of the Staatliche Museen, and Udo Kittelmann, the Director of the Nationalgalerie, should assist her executor, Prof. Dr. Peter Raue, in finding a suitable picture. After a long search, they found what they were looking for in Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s portrait of Max Liebermann. "This late work is an impressive addition to the Nationalgalerie’s existing collection of Kirchner’s works, which includes his famous Potsdamer Platz of 1914,” said Kittelmann.
Manuela Müller’s bequest, the second in the 37-year history of the Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie, was made on the recommendation of Dieter Pöhlmann, a longstanding member of the Board of Trustees. It was joined by another gift, made anonymously by a member of the Verein: Max Lieberman’s "Self-portrait” (standing, three-quarter length view, both hands in pockets). "This is not only a fantastic double acquisition,” stressed Gabriele Quandt, Chairman of the Verein, "It is also a wonderful demonstration of just how deep-rooted the notion of patronage is amongst our members.”
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