From 1912 onwards, the sisters Erna and Gerda Schilling appear in many of Kirchner’s Berlin period paintings (1911–1917). Both worked as dancers in nightclubs and as models for various artists. Close together and yet isolated from each other, Kirchner placed Gerda diagonally behind Erna dipping her hands into a sink. The pointy shapes, garish colours and the play on the complementary contrast of pink and green are typical of Kirchner’s Berlin period paintings. It all reflects his experiences in the big city, especially the fast pace of life and the isolation of the individual. As Kirchner’s significant other, Erna (1884–1945) supported him in his artistic work, made embroideries according to his designs and later also took care of his business as well as the administration of his estate.
From 1900 onwards, the Frankfurt chemist and industrialist Carl Hagemann (1867‒1940) assembled one of the most important private collections of modern art. It included numerous paintings, drawings, watercolours and prints, especially by members of the artist group “Die Brücke”. After Carl Hagemann died in an accident during the Second World War, the then Städel director Ernst Holzinger arranged for Hagemann’s heirs to evacuate his collection with the museum’s collection. In gratitude, the family donated almost all of the works on paper to the Städel Museum in 1948. Further donations and permanent loans as well as purchases of paintings and watercolours from the Hagemann estate helped to compensate for the losses the museum had suffered in 1937 as part of the Nazi’s “Degenerate Art” campaign. Today, the Hagemann Collection forms the core of the Städel museum’s Expressionist collection.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the museum at .
Art-technology findings and/or documentation regarding conservation and restoration are available for this work. If interested, please contact .