Will Grohmann - Pioneer of Modernism

The acquisition of the Grohmann estate substantially enhanced the library holdings of the Staatsgalerie by some 6,000 volumes - art books, catalogues and valuable art magazines, primarily on Classical Modern Art, with special focuses in the areas of German Expressionism, the Novembergruppe, the Bauhaus and modern French art. This major inventory, also comprising numerous literary and philosophical writings, was integrated into the library of the Staatsgalerie, but is specially marked and separately catalogued. A number of valuable illustrated volumes and portfolios containing original prints were placed in the collection of the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, e.g. Kokoschka’s »Träumende Knaben« (1908), Kandinsky’s »Klänge« (1913) and the five Bauhaus portfolios.

The writings, which form the core of the archive’s holdings, comprise the following materials, classified according to content:

  1. Extensive correspondence with artists, including omnibuses of letters from Baumeister, Feininger, Kandinsky, Klee, Kirchner, Schlemmer, Schmidt-Rottluff and many others. Copies of a proportion of Grohmann’s responses are also included. This category also contains correspondence with art historians, galleries, publishers, editors, etc.
  2. Handwritten and typewritten manuscripts on various subjects
  3. Preliminary work and collections of documents related to Grohmann’s own writings
  4. Contributions by Grohmann to various newspapers as well as an extensive collection of newspaper clippings
  5. Material and correspondence related to membership in associations, societies and foundations, as well as to conferences, universities and institutes, exhibitions, competitions and awards, radio programmes, etc.
  6. Photo collection related to Grohmann’s publications
  7. Autobiographical material

Bibliography:

For detailed information on the contents of the Will Grohmann Archive, cf. the publication »In Memoriam Will Grohmann 1887-1968 - Wegbereiter der Moderne«, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, 1988 (a limited number of copies still available). This work (text in German) comprises a comprehensive biography and bibliography as well as detailed information on the material in the estate and a list of the names of the correspondents.

For insights into Grohmann’s correspondence with artists, cf. the selected anthology »Lieber Freund, Künstler schreiben an Will Grohmann. Eine Sammlung von Briefen aus fünf Jahrzehnten«, edited by Karl Gutbrod, Cologne (DuMont Dokumente), 1968 (no longer in print). [ KvM ].

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