Like many artists’ wives of her time, Benjamine Kolbe (1881-1927) remained in the shadow of her husband. Thanks to the spectacular estate find that came to the Georg Kolbe Museum in 2020, several hundred letters and photographs can now shed light on the darkness for the first time and answer the question: Who was the woman Kolbe adored and immortalised in countless works?
At the same time, the German-Canadian artist Iris Häussler creates a feminist commentary on the male-dominated history of the 20th century in a spatial installation in the large studio. She brings to life two female artists who never existed but could have. In Häussler’s work, what historiography has overlooked becomes reality.
“No one knows me, only you know how I am, only to you have I given myself as I am, other people don’t need to know that either”, Benjamine van der Meer de Walcheren (1881-1927) confesses to the young Georg Kolbe (1877-1947) at the beginning of their acquaintance. …
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Image caption: Georg Kolbe, Portrait Benjamine Kolbe, ink drawing around 1903 © Photo: Markus Hilbich, Bildarchiv Georg Kolbe Museum