Passion for Pictures: Netherlandish Drawings of the Eighteenth Century
1 October 2020 to 10 January 2021
Exhibition Hall of the Department of Prints and Drawings
Press preview: 29 September 2020, 11:00 am

The Städel Museum has in its possession nearly 600 Netherlandish drawings of the eighteenth century – and thus one of the most extensive collections of its kind outside the Netherlands and Belgium. From 1 October 2020 to 10 January 2021, the museum will devote an exhibition solely to these works. The show will feature 81 representative drawings by artists of whom many, though little known today, were quite successful in their time. The selection mirrors the structure and artistic quality of the holdings as well as the wide range of subjects they cover. Frequently executed as finished artworks on a par with painting, often in colour, the drawings catered to the enlightened eighteenth-century citizens’ passion for pictures, as well as to their thirst for dialogue and information. Art admirers cultivated the pastime of gathering to contemplate and converse about the works. The exhibition will unite designs for wall and ceiling decorations by Jacob de Wit, book illustrations by Bernard Picart, Netherlandish topographies by such artists as Cornelis Pronk, Paulus Constantijn la Fargue and Hendrik Schepper, atmospherically composed landscape drawings by Jacob Cats, the brothers Jacob and Abraham van Strij, Franciscus Andreas Milatz and others, decorative flower and fruit still lifes by Jan van Huysum and his numerous followers, depictions of exotic animals by Aert Schouman, satirical genre scenes by Cornelis Troost and Jacobus Buys, and much more. These works speak of the emancipation and heightened status of the drawing medium in the eighteenth century, but also of an intense preoccupation with the art of the seventeenth, the so-called Golden Age of Netherlandish art.
When the exhibition gets underway, the Department of Prints and Drawings will also once again open its Study Room to the public following major construction work. There visitors can request to view works of their choice from among Städel Museum’s collection of more than 100,000 drawings and prints.

Curator: Annett Sandfort (A former research associate of the Department of Prints and Drawings and the holder of a fellowship from the Stiftung Gabriele Busch-Hauck, Annett Sandfort carried out a thorough art-historical reappraisal of the eighteenth-century Netherlandish drawings in the Städel Museum collection.)
Supported by: Stiftung Gabriele Busch-Hauck

9 December 2020 to 5 April 2021
Exhibition house, first floor
Press preview: 8 December 2020, 11:00 am

Max Beckmann (1884–1950) is associated with Frankfurt and the Städel Museum like scarcely any other artist. Based in Frankfurt from 1915 to 1933, he produced a large share of his most important works here, developed his characteristic style, and in 1925 the city provided him with a master’s studio at the School of Arts and Crafts. Numerous views of Frankfurt and portraits of friends and acquaintances testify to his ties to the city, which, much to his regret, he left in 1933 after being forced to resign from his teaching activity. Vilified as “degenerate”, Beckman fled Germany in 1937. He died in New York in 1950.
Because of his close connection with Frankfurt, the Städel Museum has intensely concerned itself for nearly a century with collecting and researching Beckmann’s oeuvre, which has been presented in a large number of special exhibitions. The museum has continuously acquired works by the artist since 1918. With 11 paintings, 2 sculptures and more than 100 prints, the museum now has one of the most extensive Beckmann collections in the world. From 9 December 2020 to 5 April 2021, this special presentation is devoting itself to this body of work and Beckmann’s Frankfurt years based on selected works and documentary material. The focus is on his famous Self-Portrait with Champagne Glass as well as his important lithography cycle Die Hölle (Hell), which were both created in 1919 at a decisive point in his career and significantly influenced his further work.

Curators: Dr Alexander Eiling (Head of the Collection of Modern Art, Städel Museum), Dr Regina Freyberger (Head of the Collection of Prints and Drawings from 1750, Städel Museum)
Archive: Dr Iris Schmeisser (Head of Provenance Research and the Historical Archives, Städel Museum)


Self. Determined: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein
19 May to 5 September 2021
Exhibition house
Press preview: 18 May 2021, 11:00 am

Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937) devoted her entire life to art. As a freelance portrait painter, she was one of the most successful female artists of her time. She achieved financial independence and captured areas of social freedom that were denied most of her female contemporaries. Her paintings were presented in exhibitions in Germany, France, England, the United States and Switzerland and achieved international acclaim. Roederstein settled in Frankfurt in 1891 together with her companion Elisabeth Winterhalter, the first female surgeon in Germany. Winterhalter advocated the founding of a girls’ secondary school and supported the women’s rights movement in Frankfurt. In 1902, the Städel acquired its first work by a contemporary female artist: Roederstein’s painting Old Woman Reading. Today, she is largely unknown to a broader public, despite her regular exhibition activity and her former renown. From 19 May to 5 September 2021, the Städel Museum is devoting a special exhibition to Ottilie W. Roederstein. This is her first retrospective in Germany for more than 20 years. With about 75 paintings and drawings, it provides a concentrated overview of the artistic development of the painter, whose style was extremely versatile. The exhibition is based on the collection of the Städel Museum, which, alongside the Kunsthaus Zürich and the Städtische Kunstsammlung Hofheim am Taunus, with 28 works has one of the most important body of works by the artist. The focus of the exhibition is Roederstein’s specific style of painting; however, it will also shed light on her role and impact as a networker and artist as well as her close connection with Frankfurt and the region. This becomes powerfully apparent based on a wealth of historical documents, photographs and letters from the artist’s estate that were transferred to the Städel Museum in 2019 from the heirs of her biographer Hermann Jughenn. The appraisal of the Roederstein-Jughenn archives brought previously unpublished information to light that will be incorporated into the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue.

The exhibition is a cooperation between Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, and Kunsthaus Zürich.

Curators: Dr Alexander Eiling (Head of the Collection of Modern Art, Städel Museum), Eva-Maria Höllerer (Research Assistant, Collection of Modern Art, Städel Museum)
Archive: Dr Iris Schmeisser (Head of Provenance Research and the Historical Archives, Städel Museum)
Supported by: Gemeinnützige Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain GmbH, Friede Springer Stiftung, Max Ernst von Grunelius Stiftung, Städelfreunde 1815

New Ways of Seeing. The Photography of the 1920s and ’30s
30 June to 24 October 2021
Exhibition Hall of the Department of Prints and Drawings
Press preview: 29 June 2021, 11:00 am

German photography from the 1920s and ‘30s oscillates between innovation and continuity. Not unaffected by the incisive social upheavals after the end of the First World War, unusual perspectives, different styles and contrasts became the means of expressing the changed living situations and political landscape. From 30 June to 24 October 2021, the Städel Museum is mounting an exhibition on the trends and movements in modern photography. It presents a selection of about 120 pioneering photographs from the Städel’s own collection of photography, which comprises more than 5,000 images, and loans of works by prominent representatives such as Alfred Ehrhardt, Hans Finsler, Lotte Jacobi, Felix H. Man, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Erich Salomon, August Sander, Umbo, Paul Wolff or Yva as well as a number of lesser known photographers, such as Carl Albiker, Karl Theodor Gremmler and Paul W. John.
Between 1918 and 1939, photography influenced the art world and everyday life like in no other period. In seven thematic chapters, essential aspects of the artistic engagement with photography and its use in various contexts of use will be presented in the entire spectrum of their motifs. Historical magazines, books and posters complement the photographic works and exemplify their use in different media. The 1920s offered photographers numerous new areas of activity, from the illustration of magazines and books to advertising design. Yet this was not the only way of using photography that paved the way for its strong presence in public space. As a seemingly authentic reflection of reality, political movements also recognised it as a means of acquiring and controlling the masses. The new ways of seeing with the camera that developed in the Weimar Republic were seamlessly taken over after 1933. Unlike the vilification of the avant-garde in the visual arts, there were no artistic restrictions in photography – modern imagery had already firmly established itself in visual memory and was used in the National Socialist state for propagandistic purposes.

Curator: Kristina Lemke (Research Assistant for Photography, Collection of Modern Art, Städel Museum)
Supported by: FAZIT-STIFTUNG, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung, Dr. Hans Feith und Dr. Elisabeth Feith-Stiftung
Symposium: A scholarly symposium is taking place at the Städel Museum on 17/18 September 2020. It is dedicated to the late art historian, journalist and collector Wilfried Wiegand, who provided important momentum to the collection of photography at the Städel Museum. The results of the symposium will be incorporated directly into the exhibition. The symposium is being supported by the FAZIT-STIFTUNG.

Becoming Rembrandt: Creativity and Competition in Amsterdam, ca. 1630–1655
6 October 2021 to 30 January 2022 (new dates)
Exhibition Building
Press preview: 5 October 2021, 11:00 am

It is hard to imagine today, but when the young painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669) moved from Leiden to Amsterdam in 1631, he was just one of many artists who wanted to make a name for himself in the flourishing metropolis of art, culture and commerce. He succeeded in doing so within just a few short years: Rembrandt gained extensive acclaim, trained dozens of aspiring artists, and engaged in the art trade, including the active distribution of his own paintings and prints. At the same time, his style changed radically – from the small, precisely executed paintings of his early days in Leiden to the large, dramatically lit narrative canvases of the Amsterdam period.
In a major exhibition, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Canada the Städel Museum will, for the first time, address Rembrandt’s rise to international fame during his formative years in Amsterdam. The presentation combines the Städel’s collection of works by Rembrandt, including The Blinding of Samson (1636), with outstanding loans from international collections, such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, the National Gallery in London, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In this exhibition, Rembrandt’s art enters into a dialogue with masterpieces by older and younger artists of his time, such as Nicolas Eliasz Pickenoy and Bartholomeus van der Helst, and with brilliant works by his own former students, such as Govaert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol. Focus will be placed on groups of closely related paintings that shed light on Rembrandt’s role and that of his contemporaries in this creative network. Rembrandt's pictorial production, and his impact, were surprisingly broad, encompassing landscapes, genre scenes and still lifes as well as history paintings and portraits. The examination of his competitors influenced his artistic development as well as his entrepreneurial ambitions. In Amsterdam, an exceptional number of talented artists competed for the attention and patronage of the wealthy and art-loving middle classes. It was precisely this exciting and stimulating atmosphere that challenged the young artist from Leiden to become the world-famous master that he is to this day: Rembrandt.

The exhibition is organised by the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Curators: Prof Dr Jochen Sander (Vice Director and Head of the Collection of Dutch, Flemish and German Painting before 1800, Städel Museum) and Prof Dr Stephanie Dickey (Guest Curator at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa)
With support from: ING AG, Dagmar-Westberg-Stiftung

Exhibition titles and dates subject to change

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.