Luigi Pericle’s house hosted Nell Walden – “Der Sturm” (Chagall, Kandinsky, Klee, Kokoschka …)

Nell Walden’s house in Ascona. Future Luigi Pericle’s home.



pic. 1: Living room of the collector Nell Walden in Ascona,
Switzerland, approx. 1935. 2.

«(…) the Swede Nell Walden, painter, writer and
poet, was an important collector. Her passion for
collecting also included ethnological art and she was
a crucial figure in the recognition that this ethnological
art influenced modern European art. Her collection,
which is so significant for the history of art
in the 20th century (…)»1

In the 1920s the Walden Collection included works by Alexander Archipenko, Heinrich Campendonk, Carlo Carrá, Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Emil Filla, Johanns Itten, Alexej Jawlensky, Bela Kadar, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Fernand Léger, André Lhote, August Macke, Franz Marc, Gabriele Münter and Kurt Schwitters.

In 1913 Jawlensky participated in Herwarth Walden‘s first German autumn Salon in Berlin.

The link with Guggenheim NY

Between th “Sturm Women” Hilla Von Rebay

Mostre nella galleria DER STURM a Berlino




Who is the Swedish woman about which Alfred Flechtheim, in the fore­word for his 1927 exhi­bi­tion catalog, wrote: “No woman in Berlin is as fair-haired and has such white skin as this Swede, who has lived in Berlin for around 15 years and was Else Lasker-Schüler’s successor, not for very long, but long enough to place Herwarth Walden and his ‘STORM’ move­ment on the Euro­pean stage. A talented painter herself: flowers, water, a lot of water, very femi­nine, no imitating of men, and a collector of a caliber very few in the world can match”?

With her head tilted pensively but nonethe­less with a deci­sive look, Nell Roslund fixes her gaze on the beholder. Her eyes are clear, and her entire body is slanted forwards. Instead of like­wise turning his atten­tion to the camera, Herwarth Walden, who also posed for the photo along­side Roslund in 1916, turns entirely towards his partner. His gaze remains fixed on the young Swede who, after Else Lasker-Schüler, became his second wife, and was a painter, jour­nalist, trans­lator and collector in her own right, as well as an ener­getic advo­cate for the STORM move­ment.

Nell Roslund und Herwarth Walden via

The photo­graphic portrait of Nell Roslund and the founder of the STORM move­ment may indeed be the result of a delib­erate pose, but at the same time the shot is emblem­atic of the unique inter­weaving of rela­tion­ships and impor­tance between these two great promoters of art who had dedi­cated them­selves whole­heart­edly to the avant-garde. Although she spent no more than 10 years by Walden’s side, Nell Roslund quickly became a deci­sive orga­ni­za­tional, social and artistic figure in the transna­tional network that was the STORM.


Herwarth Walden is the undis­puted key figure of this move­ment, who dedi­cated himself initially to expres­sionism and later to the various mani­fes­ta­tions of the avant-garde in Germany. However, the fact that the move­ment survived the First World War and indeed even expanded during the war years was largely thanks to Nell Roslund, who secured its finan­cial survival. What’s more, she was not only one of the most frequently exhib­ited female artists in the STORM gallery, but also one of the most impor­tant collec­tors of the art of her fellow campaigners.


Born the daughter of a priest in Karl­skrona in southern Sweden in 1887, Nell Roslund (orig­i­nally Nelly Anna Char­lotta Roslund) initially enjoyed a classic middle-class upbringing. In 1908 she gave up her musical training as an organist. Her travels took her to various places including Lübeck and Berlin, where she perfected her knowl­edge of German. When she agreed to marry Swedish archi­tect Folke Bensow in 1910, her future as a conven­tional house­wife and mother appeared to be sealed. Yet her encounter with Herwarth Walden at her sister’s house in 1911 was to change every­thing.


Roslund broke off her engage­ment, convinced her mother to arrange employ­ment for her in Berlin and at the begin­ning of 1912 joined Herwarth Walden and his STORM group. From that point on, with her income assured from her work as a polit­ical jour­nalist and trans­lator in the press head­quar­ters of the German Supreme Army Command, Roslund financed the move­ment and began to collect the artists’ works, along with ethno­graphic objects. In the years that followed, the growing collec­tion was used by the STORM for adver­tising purposes, regu­larly made acces­sible to the public and published in a catalog – and thus Roslund’s lasting efforts for public aware­ness of the avant-garde move­ment began.


It was during these years that the collector herself began to paint. Nell Roslund was self-taught and found her way to painting in the bosom of the STORM, and later at the STORM Academy of Art, which opened in the fall of 1916. Her reverse glass painting, oil painting and works on paper show vividly colored compo­si­tions that hint at human and geometric forms, but which develop their inten­sity and dynamism only in their rejec­tion of faithful figu­ra­tion in favor of abstrac­tion. Nell Roslund’s images radiate in contrasts; they have simple titles such as Klebe­bild (Glue Picture), Kompo­si­tion (Compo­si­tion), Glas­bild (Glass Picture), or Tempera, or indeed names that implant meaning in her gestural streaks: Ich selbst (I myself), Kräfte (Powers), Arabische Träume (Arabian Dreams), Lyrische Blumen aus einem nordis­chen Garten (Lyrical Flowers from a Nordic Garden). For her more than 6,000 works of her oeuvre she used water­colors, tempera, pastels, sepia or gouache on paper and wood; collages and mosaics build on her “colored draw­ings”, while designs for inte­riors carry them over into a space.


Her choice of mate­rial was care­free, but consid­er­able tech­nical skill lurked behind the char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally expres­sionist approach to the internal expe­ri­ences and percep­tions expressed in her art. At the same time, reli­gious aspects also seeped into her art – with both, according to the artist, demanding unwa­vering belief. Following Nell Roslund’s debut as an artist in 1917, her works were exhib­ited so regu­larly in the STORM that she became the move­ment’s second most frequently exhib­ited artist after Jacoba van Heemskerck. When Nell Roslund divorced Herwarth Walden in 1924, she became a member of the artists’ asso­ci­a­tion Die Abstrakten – Inter­na­tionale Vere­ini­gung der Expres­sion­isten, Futur­isten, Kubisten und Konstruk­tivisten e.V. [The Abstracts – Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tion of Expres­sion­ists, Futur­ists, Cubists and Construc­tivists], with whom she continued to exhibit.


Walden, who reset­tled in the Soviet Union in 1931 and thus signaled the end of the STORM, had trans­ferred his entire art collec­tion to Roslund before their divorce, and when she herself fled to Switzer­land to escape the Nazis, she managed to take large parts of her art and ethno­graphic collec­tion with her. Yet a private tragedy would blight her move: She would never again see her second husband, Jewish doctor Hans Heimann, who was due to follow her to Switzer­land, as he was impris­oned, deported and murdered by the Nazis. From then on, Roslund remained in Switzer­land, and in 1940 she married again.

Until the end of her life, however, it was primarily the encounter with Herwarth Walden and the STORM artists that would shape Nell Roslund most defin­i­tively. It was on account of this that the Swedish artist fought tire­lessly for recog­ni­tion of the STORM, for which she attempted to gain a firm place in art history through sales and endow­ments to museums, as well as through her publi­ca­tions of 1954 and 1963. At the same time, her own art devel­oped entirely within the context of the STORM move­ment and embodied its aesthetic and its artistic ideals like virtu­ally no other work by a STORM artist. Today the output by this recip­ient of the first-class Swedish Royal Order of Vasa as well as the first-class Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany is exhib­ited in various places including the Moderna Museet in Stock­holm, the Kunst­mu­seum in Bern and currently in the “STORM WOMEN” exhi­bi­tion at the SCHIRN.

Walden, Nell (1887-1975)
by Scholes, Robert

Nell Walden (1887 – 1975)

She was born Nell Rosmund in Landskrona, Sweden, but moved to Berlin as a young woman and became the second wife of Herwarth Walden, who was a leader in the modernist art movements of that city. Herwarth Walden was originally Georg Levine, a musician turned writer, who had been renamed by his first wife, the poet Else Lasker. Walden published the first issue of jis avant-garde periodical Der Sturm in 1910 and Der Sturm became a publishing house, art gallery, school, theater group, meeting place, publisher of prints and later a political headquarters. Nell Rosmund helped him to introduce Expressionism, Cubism, and Futurism to the German public. During the decade 1910-1920, she became more an object of the painter’s eye than a painter herself, but she has been called “the first abstract painter in Swedish history.” Most of the artists connected to the modernist movement in Germany painted or sculpted her.

This object is available for public use. Individuals interested in reproducing this object in a publication, web site or for any commercial purpose must first receive written permission from the Brown University Library.
For further information, please contact:
Modernist Journals Project
Box 1597, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912

Nell Walden


John Jon-And: Herwarth und Nell Walden, Tusche (vor 1924)

Nell Walden (geborene Roslund; * 29. Dezember1887 in KarlskronaSchweden; † 21. Oktober1975 in BernSchweiz) war eine schwedisch-schweizerische Malerin, Musikerin, Schriftstellerin und Kunstsammlerin. Sie war von 1912 bis 1924 die zweite Ehefrau des Verlegers und Galeristen Herwarth Walden und Mitarbeiterin bei seinen Berliner Sturm-Projekten. Im Jahr 1919 übereignete er ihr seine avantgardistische Kunstsammlung. 1933 übersiedelte sie in die Schweiz.

Leben und Wirken

Ausbildung und Heirat

Nell (Nelly) Anna Charlotta Roslund war die Tochter des Pfarrers Frithiof Roslund. 1903 zog sie mit ihrer Familie nach Landskrona. Nach dem Abitur in Trelleborg und einem Aufenthalt in Lübeck studierte sie Musik und schloss das Studium 1908 in Lund mit dem Diplom als Organistin ab. Anschließend ging sie nach Berlin, um ihre deutschen Sprachkenntnisse zu vervollkommnen. 1911 lernte sie Herwarth Walden kennen, den sie im November 1912 in London heiratete. Walden hatte sich im selben Jahr von seiner ersten Ehefrau Else Lasker-Schüler scheiden lassen. Er hieß eigentlich Georg Lewin und verdankte Lasker-Schüler sein Pseudonym „Herwarth Walden“, inspiriert durch Henry Thoreaus Roman Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854). 1910 hatte er die Kunstzeitschrift Der Sturm gegründet und 1912 die Sturm-Galerie mit einer Wanderausstellung des Blauen Reiter eröffnet.[1]

Sturm-Projekte und Beginn der künstlerischen Tätigkeit

1913 reiste das Ehepaar durch Europa, um Kunstwerke für Herwarth Waldens Ausstellung Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon auszuwählen, die am 20. September 1913 in Berlin eröffnete. Er bot die zu dieser Zeit größte Auswahl an internationaler avantgardistischer Kunst und verhalf vielen Malern und Bildhauern zum Durchbruch, provozierte jedoch auch einen Kulturskandal. Ausgestellt waren mehr als 350 Werke von etwa 80 aktiven Künstlern sowie Werke von Henri Rousseau zum Gedenken. Die Maler Paul Klee und Wassily Kandinsky ermunterten Nell Walden zur Malerei. Nach Kriegsausbruch 1914 arbeitete sie als Journalistin und Übersetzerin. Ihre skandinavischen Sprachkenntnisse bildeten die Grundlage für das „Nachrichtenbüro Der Sturm“, das für verschiedene deutsche Nachrichtendienste in den nordischen Ländern und in den Niederlanden tätig war und die finanzielle Grundlage für das Sturm-Unternehmen in der Kriegszeit bildete.[2]Herwarth Walden musste wegen seines Augenleidens (Astigmatismus) keinen Kriegsdienst leisten. Sie begann mit der Sammlung von Werken der Sturm-Künstler, schwedischer Volkskunst sowie Kunst aus Afrika und Ozeanien. 1915 malte sie ihre ersten Hinterglasbilder. Ein Jahr später nahm sie Malunterricht in der neu gegründeten Sturm-Kunstschule, an der beispielsweise Rudolf BauerRudolf BlümnerHeinrich CampendonkGeorg MucheLothar SchreyerArnold Topp und Herwarth Walden unterrichteten. 1917 stellte Nell Walden erstmals aus: Zusammen mit Arnold Topp zeigte sie in der 51. Ausstellung des Sturm ihre abstraktenBilder. 1919 übereignete Walden seiner Frau die gemeinsam aufgebaute Kunstsammlung Walden.[3] 1923 trat sie von der Mitarbeit beim Sturm zurück und ließ sich im folgenden Jahr von Herwarth Walden scheiden, da sie mit seiner Hinwendung zum Kommunismus nicht einverstanden war.[1]

Weitere Ehen und Umzug in die Schweiz

1926 heiratete Nell Walden den jüdischen Arzt Hans Hermann Heimann in Berlin. 1932 veröffentlichte sie im Almanach Omnibus der Berliner Galerie von Alfred Flechtheim den Essay Wesen und Bedeutung der Astrologie und Horoskopie. 1933 ließ sie sich aufgrund der politischen Lage formell von Heimann scheiden und übersiedelte in das schweizerische Ascona, um dort mit Heimann zusammenleben zu können. Heimann wurde jedoch von den Nationalsozialisten verhaftet, deportiert und ermordet. Sie übergab ihre Sammlungen schweizerischen Kunstmuseen zur sicheren Aufbewahrung. Später trennte sie sich weitgehend durch Verkauf oder Stiftungen von ihrer Sammlung.[4]

Franz Marc: Zwei Schafe (1912) aus der Sammlung Nell Walden, jetzt Saarlandmuseum, Saarbrücken[5]

1940 heiratete sie den Schweizer Lehrer Hannes Urech. 1944 ließ sich das Ehepaar in Schinznach-Bad nieder. Ende 1954 wurde ein großer Teil der Sammlung Nell Walden beim Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett versteigert, darunter Werke zahlreicher Expressionisten wie die Franz Marcs; auch Oskar Kokoschkas Porträt von Herwarth Walden kam unter den Hammer.[6] Zur Sammlung gehörten ebenfalls 14 Bilder Marc Chagalls sowie ein Gemälde von Wassily Kandinsky, die gegen den Willen der Künstlererben versteigert wurden.[7]

1962 übersiedelte das Ehepaar in das neu erbaute Haus Seehalde in Brestenberg bei Seengen. Ein Jahr später starb Hannes Urech, und Nell Urech-Walden zog nach Bern. Sie wurde nach ihrem Tod 1975 in Bern neben ihrem Mann in Aarau bestattet.[1]

Nell Waldens abstraktes Werk ist beispielsweise im Moderna Museet in Stockholm, im Landskrona Museum und im Kunstmuseum Bern vertreten und wird gelegentlich im Kunsthandel angeboten.

Porträts und eine Satire

Der Bildhauer William Wauer schuf 1917 und 1918 kubistische Büsten von Herwarth und Nell Walden,[8] und Hugó Schreiber porträtierte sie in Tanzpose.[9]Oskar Kokoschka porträtierte Herwarth Walden 1910 sowie 1916 Nell.[10] Die Tuschezeichnung des schwedischen Malers John Jon-And (1889–1941) ist in der Einleitung abgebildet.

Herwarth und Nell Walden werden in Hermann Essigs 1919 postum erschienenem satirischenSchlüsselromanDer Taifun, der sich mit der Sturm-Gruppe befasst, unter den Namen Ossi und Hermione Ganswind dargestellt; Hermione wird darin als „Leiter“ des Taifuns bezeichnet.[11]1967: Schwedischer Ritterorden Vasa l. Klasse

  • 1968: Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
  • 1970: Silbermedaille der Accademia Internazionala „Tommaso Campanella“

Ausstellungen (Auswahl)

  • Auflistung der Ausstellungen in der Sturm-Galerie 1912–1930, darunter Nell Walden (niederländisch)
  • 1927: Nell Walden-Heimann und ihre SammlungenGalerie Flechtheim, Berlin
  • 1944: Der Sturm. Sammlung Nell Walden aus den Jahren 1912–1920 sowie ihre Sammlung Kunst der NaturvölkerKunstmuseum Bern
  • 1954: Der Sturm. Samling Nell Walden. Expressionister, Futurister, Kubister in Stockholm und in sieben weiteren Städten in Schweden
  • 1957: Sammlung Nell Walden und Bilder der Malerin, Sonderausstellung, Gewerbemuseum Aarau
  • 1958: Ausstellung eigener Bilder bei Klipstein und Kornfeld in Bern
  • 1961: Der Sturm. Herwarth Walden und die Europäische Avantgarde. Berlin 1912–1932, Orangerie des Schlosses Charlottenburg, Berlin
  • 1966: Nell Walden. Sammlung und eigene Werke, Kunstmuseum Bern
  • 1972: Ausstellung eigener Bilder im Kunstmuseum Landskrona
  • 2010: Der Sturm (1910–1932). Expressionistische Graphik und LyrikKunstmuseum Olten[12]
  • 2012: Der Sturm – Zentrum der AvantgardeVon der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal[13]
  • 2015/2016: Sturm-Frauen – Künstlerinnen der Avantgarde in Berlin 1910-1932Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt[14]


  • Nell Walden-Heimann: Unter Sternen. Gedichte. Stössinger, Berlin, 1933.
  • Nell Walden und Lothar Schreyer (Hrsg.): Der Sturm. Ein Erinnerungsbuch an Herwarth Walden und die Künstler aus dem Sturmkreis. Klein, Baden-Baden 1954.
  • Nell Walden: Herwarth Walden. Ein Lebensbild. Kupferberg, Berlin-Mainz 1963.


  • Hans Christoph von Tavel und Roswitha Beyer: Nell Walden. Sammlung und eigene Werke. Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern 1966
  • August StrammBriefe an Nell und Herwarth Walden, hrsg. von Michael Trabitzsch. Edition Sirene, Berlin 1988
  • Hermann EssigDer Taifun. Roman. Nachdruck der Erstausgabe von 1919, herausgegeben und mit einem Nachwort von Rolf-Bernhard Essig. Weidle, Bonn 1997, ISBN 3-931135-28-4



  1. ↑ Hochspringen nach:a b c Zitiert nach dem Weblink des Kunstmuseums Olten.
  2. Hochspringen Hubert van den Berg: Mal zuviel, mal zuwenig Denkmal,, abgerufen am 4. Juli 2013.
  3. Hochspringen Biografie Herwarth Walden (PDF; 4,6 MB),, abgerufen am 3. Juli 2013.
  4. Hochspringen Nell Walden,, abgerufen am 9. Juli 2013.
  5. Hochspringen Gesa Jeuthe: Kunstwerte im Wandel. Die Preisentwicklung der deutschen Moderne im nationalen und internationalen Kunstmarkt 1925 bis 1955. Akademie, Berlin 1911, ISBN 978-3-05-005079-9, S. 172.
  6. Hochspringen Ein Stifter mache sich verdient,, 18. November 1954, abgerufen am 2. Juli 2013.
  7. Hochspringen Bilder für ein Butterbrot,, 28/1954, abgerufen am 12. Juli 2013.
  8. Hochspringen Nell Walden,, abgerufen am 8. Juli 2013.
  9. Hochspringen Nell Walden Dancing (Memento vom 27. Mai 2013 im Internet Archive)
  10. Hochspringen Oskar Kokoschka, Nell Walden, 1916,, abgerufen am 8. Juli 2013.
  11. Hochspringen Der Taifun,, abgerufen am 14. Juli 2013.
  12. Hochspringen Der Sturm (1910–1932). Expressionistische Graphik und Lyrik (PDF; 336 kB)
  13. Hochspringen Hubert van den Berg: Mal zuviel, mal zuwenig Denkmal,, abgerufen am 9. Juli 2013.
  14. Hochspringen Ingrid Pfeiffer, Max Hollein (Hrsg.): Sturm-Frauen: Künstlerinnen der Avantgarde in Berlin 1910-1932. Wienand, Köln 2015, ISBN 978-3-86832-277-4.


Herwarth Walden


Emil Orlik: Bleistift- und Federzeichnung von Herwarth Walden, undatiert

Herwarth Walden (eigentlich Georg Lewin; * 16. September1878 in Berlin; † 31. Oktober1941 bei Saratow) war ein deutscher Schriftsteller, Verleger, Galerist, Musiker und Komponist. Walden war einer der wichtigsten Förderer der deutschen Avantgarde des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts (ExpressionismusFuturismusDadaismusNeue Sachlichkeit). Er gründete 1910 die Zeitschrift Der Sturm, die bis 1932 bestand. Ab 1912 betrieb er die Sturm-Galerie; unter seiner Leitung fand 1913 die Ausstellung des Ersten Deutschen Herbstsalons in Berlin statt. Die Dichterin Else Lasker-Schüler war seine erste Ehefrau.


Berliner Gedenktafel am Haus Katharinenstr 5 für Walden und Lasker-Schüler in Berlin-Wilmersdorf

Georg Lewin, der einer wohlhabenden jüdischen Familie entstammte, studierte in seinen Jugendjahren Komposition und Klavier in Berlin und Florenz. Sein musisches Talent und die von ihm gewählte künstlerische Ausbildung distanzierten ihn früh von der großbürgerlichen Welt seines Elternhauses. Er schrieb Lyrik und Prosa und war Kritiker für LiteraturMusik und Kunst. 1903 gründete er den „Verein für Kunst“, dem in den Folgejahren eine große Zahl bedeutender Schriftsteller wie Heinrich und Thomas MannFrank WedekindRainer Maria RilkeRichard DehmelAlfred Döblin und Else Lasker-Schüler angehörte.[1]

Am 30. November 1903 heirateten Lewin und Else Lasker-Schüler. Die Ehe wurde 1912 geschieden. Lasker-Schüler verdankte Lewin sein Pseudonym „Herwarth Walden“, inspiriert durch Henry Thoreaus Roman Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854).

Der Sturm, 17. Jahrgang, August 1926, 5. Heft

Die Zeitschrift Der Sturm

Von 1910 bis 1932 gab Walden die Zeitschrift Der Sturm heraus, die er zusammen mit Alfred Döblin begründete und die eine der wichtigsten Publikationen des Expressionismus war. Zu den literarischen Mitarbeitern zählten unter anderem Peter AltenbergMax BrodRichard DehmelAnatole FranceKnut HamsunArno HolzKarl KrausSelma LagerlöfAdolf LoosHeinrich MannOtto NebelPaul ScheerbartRené SchickeleAugust Stramm. Im Jahr 1910 kam auf Waldens Anregung Oskar Kokoschka nach Berlin und arbeitete an der Zeitschrift mit. Ein großformatiges Porträt Waldens, das Kokoschka malte, befindet sich heute in der Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

Die Sturm-Galerie und weitere Aktivitäten

John Jon-And: Herwarth und Nell Walden, Tusche (vor 1924)

1912 heirateten Walden und die Schwedin Nell Roslund. Er betätigte sich in der Folgezeit verstärkt als Galerist. So betrieb er die Sturm-Galerie, in der ab 1912 unter anderem Bilder des Blauen Reiters und des italienischen Futurismus zu sehen waren. Er entdeckte und förderte neue Talente wie Georg Schrimpf und Maria Uhden.

Ausstellungskatalog, 1913

Als Kontrastveranstaltung zur Sonderbundausstellung, die 1912 in Köln ausgerichtet worden war, fand vom 2. April 1913 bis zum 1. Dezember 1913 die von Walden ausgerichtete Ausstellung moderner Kunst des Ersten Deutschen Herbstsalons in der Potsdamer Straße 75 statt, unweit seiner Galerie „Der Sturm“ in der Potsdamer Straße 134 a.

Nach Kriegsausbruch 1914 arbeitete Nell Walden dank ihrer skandinavischen Sprachkenntnisse für das „Nachrichtenbüro Der Sturm“, das für verschiedene deutsche Nachrichtendienste in den nordischen Ländern und in den Niederlanden tätig war und die finanzielle Grundlage für das Sturm-Unternehmen in der Kriegszeit bildete.[2] Für den späteren Konstruktivisten Thilo Maatsch war 1916 der Besuch einer Sturm-Ausstellung das Schlüsselereignis, sich der Malerei zuzuwenden; seine Werke wurden 1927 dort gezeigt.

1916 gründete Walden im avantgardistischen Geist der Zeitschrift Der Sturm die Sturm-Kunstschule und veranstaltete Sturm-Abende, an denen Sturm-Künstler ihre Dichtungen vortrugen. Im folgenden Jahr eröffnete er eine Sturm-Buchhandlung, der 1918 die Sturm-Bühne und die gleichnamige Zeitschrift folgten. Sie waren zur Förderung der expressionistischen Bühnenkunst vorgesehen.

1918 wurde Walden Mitglied der KPD. Ein Jahr später übereignete er seiner Frau die Kunstsammlung Walden. 1924 ließen sich Herwarth Walden und Nell Roslund scheiden, da sie mit seiner Hinwendung zum Kommunismus nicht einverstanden war. Zwei Jahre später heiratete er eine Russin, die 1930 an Tuberkulose starb.[3]

Exil in Moskau

Angesichts des aufziehenden Nationalsozialismus verließ er mit der Übersetzerin Ellen Bork im Jahr 1932 Deutschland und ging nach Moskau, wo sie heirateten. Er arbeitete dort als Lehrer und Publizist. Seine Sympathien für die Avantgarde weckten allerdings schnell das Misstrauen der stalinistischen Regierung der Sowjetunion. 1933 kam ihre Tochter Sina Walden zur Welt.

1941 wurde Walden inhaftiert. Seine Frau und Tochter suchten Zuflucht bei der deutschen Botschaft und kehrten anschließend nach Berlin zurück. Walden starb am 31. Oktober des Jahres 1941 in einem sowjetischen Gefängnis bei Saratow.[3] Die Feststellung seines Todeszeitpunktes erhielt Sina Walden erst 1966 nach einem Besuch in Moskau.[4]


  • Der Sturm (Zeitschrift, 1910–1932)
  • Dafnislieder für Gesang und Klavier (1910)
  • Das Buch der Menschenliebe (Roman, 1916)
  • Die Härte der Weltenliebe (Roman, 1917)
  • Einblick in Kunst. Expressionismus, Futurismus, Kubismus. (Essays, 1917)
  • Das Begriffliche in der Dichtung (Essay, 1918)
  • Kind (Drama, 1918)
  • Menschen (Drama, 1918)
  • Unter den Sinnen (Roman, 1919)
  • Die neue Malerei (Essays, 1920)
  • Glaube (Drama, 1920)
  • Sünde (Drama, 1920)
  • Die Beiden (Drama, 1920)
  • Erste Liebe (Drama, 1920)
  • Letzte Liebe (Drama, 1920)
  • Im Geschweig der Liebe (Gedichte, 1925)
  • Kreidefelsen Rügen (Ölgemälde, 1937)
  • Vulgär-Expressionismus (Essay, 1938)


  • Ursula PetersModerne Zeiten. Die Sammlung zum 20. Jahrhundert. In Zusammenarbeit mit Andrea Legde. Verlag des Germanischen Nationalmuseums, Nürnberg 2000, ISBN 3-926982-61-6, (Kulturgeschichtliche Spaziergänge im Germanischen Nationalmuseum Bd. 3), insb. S. 11–120 passim, bes. 61ff.
  • Barbara Alms, Wiebke Steinmetz (Hrsg.): Der Sturm. Chagall, Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Klee, Kokoschka, Macke, Marc, Schwitters und viele andere im Berlin der zehner Jahre. Hauschild, Bremen 2000, ISBN 3-89757-052-1, (Ausstellungskatalog: Städtische Galerie Delmenhorst Haus Coburg, Sammlung Stuckenberg 18. Juni bis 6. September 2000), insbes. S. 15–43 (Barbara Alms), 35–45 (Anita Beloubek-Hammer), 82–90 (Anna-Carola Krauße).
  • Leo Ikelaar (Hg): Scheerbarts Briefe der Jahre 1913/14 an Gottfried HeinersdorffBruno Taut und Herwarth Walden. Igel, Paderborn 1999. ISBN 3-89621-037-8.
  • Karl Kraus, Herwarth Walden: Feinde in Scharen. Ein wahres Vergnügen dazusein. Briefwechsel 1909-1912. Hrsg. George C. Avery. Wallstein, Göttingen 2002. ISBN 3-89244-613-X.
  • Robert Hodonyi: Paul Scheerbart (1863–1915) und Herwarth Waldens Zeitschrift Der Sturm – Zum Dialog der Künste in der Berliner Moderne um 1900. In: Else-Lasker-Schüler-Jahrbuch der Klassischen Moderne 4. Hrsg. Lothar Bluhm und Andreas Meier. WVT, Trier 2010, S. 65–90.
  • Robert Hodonyi: Rudolf Olden – Herwarth Walden. Briefwechsel 1937–1939. In: Rudolf Olden. Journalist gegen Hitler – Anwalt der Republik. Eine Ausstellung über den Juristen und Publizisten Rudolf Olden (1885–1940) in der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Frankfurt a. M. (25. März 2010 bis 28. Juli 2010). Katalogbuch. Hrsg. Sylvia Asmus und Brita Eckert. Frankfurt am Main 2010, S. 69–82.
  • Petra Jenny Vock: „Der Sturm muß brausen in dieser toten Welt“ – Herwarth Waldens ‚Sturm‘ und die Lyriker des ‚Sturm‘-Kreises in der Zeit des Ersten Weltkriegs. Kunstprogrammatik und Kriegslyrik einer expressionistischen Zeitschrift im Kontext. WVT, Trier 2006 ISBN 978-3-88476-825-9
  • Gerd Presler: Die großen Kunsthändler (2), Herwarth Walden, der große Propagandist der modernen Kunst in Deutschland, In: ART – Das Kunstmagazin, Nr. 2. Februar 2003, S. 66–72
  • Walden, Herwarth. In: Hermann WeberAndreas HerbstDeutsche Kommunisten. Biographisches Handbuch 1918 bis 1945. 2., überarb. und stark erw. Auflage. Karl Dietz Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02130-6.


Commons: Herwarth Walden – Sammlung von Bildern, Videos und Audiodateien
Wikisource: Herwarth Walden – Quellen und Volltexte
  1. Hochspringen Hubert van den Berg: Mal zuviel, mal zuwenig Denkmal,, abgerufen am 4. Juli 2013
  2. ↑ Hochspringen nach:a b Zitiert nach dem Weblink des Kunstmuseums Olten
  3. Hochspringen Zitiert nach Andreas Herbst: Deutsche Kommunisten. Biographisches Handbuch 1918 bis 1945.



Friday, November 13, 2015


The Schirn Kunsthalle Frank­furt is devoting an exten­sive topical exhi­bi­tion to the women of the STURM begin­ning on October 30, 2015.

For the first time ever, eighteen women STURM artists representing Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, and the New Objectivity will be presented in a comprehensive exhibition featuring around 280 works of art.

The presentation is a somewhat different survey of the most important currents in avant-garde art in Berlin in the early years of the twentieth century.

The STURM heralded the advent of modern art. Orig­i­nally the name of a maga­zine founded in 1910 devoted to promoting expres­sionist art, the term STURM (English: STORM) soon assumed the char­acter of a trade­mark. Herwarth Walden, the publisher of the journal, also founded the STURM gallery in Berlin in 1912. Numerous women artists, including many from other coun­tries, were presented in Germany for the first time at his gallery. As a move­ment, the STURM repre­sented a program—one that opposed concep­tual barriers, the estab­lish­ment in general, and the bour­geois char­acter of Wilhelminian society and advo­cated the total freedom of all arts and styles. Composed of friends with similar inter­ests, the STURM network served as a forum for inten­sive and animated discourse on the ideas, theo­ries, and concepts of the avant-garde. The addi­tional STURM evenings, the newly founded STURM academy, the STURM theater and book­shop as well as occa­sional balls and a cabaret offered the artists of the STURM a variety of plat­forms and made the diverse artistic currents and tenden­cies in Berlin during the years from 1910 to 1930 acces­sible to a broad public.

Among the best-known artists repre­sented in the show are Sonia Delaunay, Alexandra Exter, Natalja Goncharova, Else Lasker-Schüler, Gabriele Münter, and Mari­anne von Were­fkin. They are joined by a number of largely unknown or less familiar artists, among them Marthe Donas, Jacoba van Heemskerck, Hilla von Rebay, Lavinia Schulz, and Maria Uhden.

Each of the eigh­teen women artists of the STURM will be presented along with her most impor­tant works in a sepa­rate room at the exhi­bi­tion. They are artists from Germany, the Nether­lands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Ukraine, and Russia whose works were exhib­ited at the STURM gallery or published in DER STURM maga­zine.

The writer and composer Herwarth Walden (1878−1941) exhib­ited works by Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, and Marc Chagall, the artists of Der Blaue Reiter, and the Italian Futur­ists, but he also actively promoted well over thirty women painters and sculp­tors strate­gi­cally and without bias. He was regarded as a visionary and a pioneer on behalf of abstrac­tion and modern art in general, and he united the inter­na­tional avant-garde with his programs. For many women artists, the STURM repre­sented their first big chance, for in the early years of the twen­tieth century they were neither fully recog­nized by society nor did they have access to acad­emic training compa­rable to that of their male colleagues. The life stories, personal circum­stances, and crit­ical recep­tion of the eigh­teen women artists of the STURM are all very different, and their styles vary consid­er­ably as well. Yet viewed as a group, they repre­sent an impres­sive panorama of modern art.

For this exhi­bi­tion, the Schirn is presenting a selec­tion of outstanding paint­ings, works on paper, prints, wood­cuts, stage sets, costumes, masks, and histor­ical photographs acquired on loan from promi­nent museums as well as univer­sity and private collec­tions, including, among others, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Yale Univer­sity Art Gallery in New Haven, the Theater Museum in St. Peters­burg, the Tate and Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the National Museum in Belgrade, the Museo Thyssen-Borne­misza in Madrid, the Moderna Museet in Stock­holm, the Städtische Galerie im Lenbach­haus in Munich, and the Von-der-Heydt-Museum in Wuppertal.


Natalja Sergejewna Gontscharowa, Gardening, 1908, Oil on canvas, 102.9 x 123.2 cm, Photo © Tate, London 2015, VG Bild- Kunst, Bonn 2015

Sonia Delaunay, Portuguese Market, 1915, Oil and wax-paint on canvas, 90.5 x 90.5 cm, Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Firenze

Magda Langenstraß-Uhlig, Movement, c. 1925, Gouache over graphite on paper, 25.1 x 34.8 cm, Karl Peter Röhl Stiftung, Weimar KPRS-2007/4928 © Photo Stefan Renno, Weimar, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015

Marthe Donas, Still Life with Bottle and Cup, 1917, Collage of lace, sandpaper, cloth, netting, and paint on composition board, 53 x 38.6 cm, Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Collection Société Anonyme, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015

Marcelle Cahn, Woman and Sail, c. 1926/27, Oil on canvas, 66 x 50 cm, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg (MAMCS) © Photo Musées de Strasbourg, A. Plisson

Sigrid Hjertén, Woman with Fur and Red Hat, 1915, Oil on canvas, 116 x 90 cm, Private collection, Photo: Reproduction ©

Gabriele Münter, Apples on Blue, 1908/09, Oil on cardboard, 52,5 x 39 cm, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz – MUSEUM GUNZENHAUSER, Property of Stiftung Gunzenhauser, Chemnitz, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Gabriele Münter, Portrait of Marianne von Werefkin, c. 1909, Oil on cardboard, 81 x 55 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, München, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015

Marianne von Werefkin, City in Lithuania, 1913/14, Tempera on paper over cardboard, 56,5 x 71,5 cm, Fondazione Marianne Werefkin Museo Comunale d’Arte Moderna, Ascona

Alexandra Exter, Costume design inhabitant of Mars in Aelita, 1924, Watercolor and gouache on paper, 53 x 36 cm, Collection Nina and Nikita Lobanov-Rostovsky, Donation to the Charitable Fund “Konstantinovsky”, 2013 © St Petersburg State Museum of Theater

Jacoba van Heemskerck, Houses in Suiderland, Drawing No. 13, 1914, Ink, 48 x 63 cm, Kunstmuseum Bern, Donation Nell Walden

Emmy Klinker, Portrait of a Young Woman, 1920/21, Oil on cardboard, 44 x 35.5 cm / 56 x 47.5 x 4.5 cm, Von der Heydt- Museum Wuppertal © Photo Medienzentrum, Antje Zeis-Loi

Else Lasker Schüler, The Snake-Worshipper on the Market Square of Thebes, 1912, Ink, colored pencils, collaged silver paper, 28,3 x 22,5 cm, Franz Marc Stiftung, Donation Stiftung Etta und Otto Stangl © Franz Marc Museum, Kochel a. See

Marcelle Cahn, Abstract Composition, 1925, Oil on canvas, 72.4 x 49.7 cm, Musée de Grenoble © Photo Musée de Grenoble

Sonia Delaunay, Dessin B53, 1924, Gouache and pencil on paper, 100 x 75 (122 x 87 cm), Private Collection, Photo © Private Archives

Marthe Donas, Cubist Head, 1917, Pencil on paper, 27.5 x 22 / 60 x 65 cm, Private collection © Photo Cedric Verhelst, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
The Swede Nell Walden (1887-1975) was one of the first
people to collect German expressionist art and the European
avant-garde art of that period. From 1914 onwards she acquired
numerous early works by Klee, Kandinsky, Chagall, Marc,
Macke, Kokoschka, Archipenko, etc. The auctioning off of
parts of her collection in 1954 was a real event for the art
world of that time. Her role as regards STURM has still not
been fully recognised today. In the 2012 exhibition by the
same name in the Wuppertal Von der Heydt-Museum Nell
Walden was accorded only a minor mention by the curator
Andea von Hülsen-Esch as the wife of Herwarth Walden.3
Even the most up-to-date book on Der STURM, published in
2013, mentions her only peripherally. 4
Hardly any collectors and ethnologists know that Nell Walden
also possessed an important ethnological collection, comprising
masks and figures from Africa, Oceania and Asia, as well
as South American textiles and ceramics. The precise number
of the artefacts in her collection cannot be determined, but
there were at least 327, very likely even around 540, and possibly
even as many as 600+ objects. Approximately 15-20%
of the collection can today be found in the Rietberg Museum
in Zürich, subsumed within the Von der Heydt collection. It
is interesting that such a large, varied and important collection
can today be so little known. Is this because she was a
woman, although she was one of the first – if not the first –
collector of non-European art in Germany?
Der STURM – Herwarth and Nell Walden 5
«Next to each other there are Latinate and Germanic people,
Slavs, Semites, Mongols, Negroes, South Sea Islanders,
French … the Christian votive picture showed Herwarth Walden
standing next to the giant image of a Melanesian Uli idol
and next to a statue of a many-headed Hindu god.» 6
In the first quarter of the 20th century the Germans were
badly shaken by war, revolution and inflation. Yet it was a
golden age of culture und art. Nell Walden wrote retrospectively
in 1963: «the fusion of Jewish thinking and Jewish
artistic talent with German cultural and artistic elements led
to a level of artistic achievement which will be difficult to replicate.
The centre was Berlin. … Berlin was international. … In
Der STURM there were artists from all European nations.» 7
One central figure in this artistic movement was the musician,
composer, writer, publisher and gallery owner Herwarth Walden
(1878-1941), who was pivotal at this time, along with the
gallery owners Paul Cassirer and Alfred Flechtheim, not only
for the art scene in Germany but also for the whole of Europe.
Nell Walden wrote about these times and about Herwarth
Walden: «No one can deny that he was a forerunner and
pioneer of the new art. Walden encouraged the great masters
of this art, who are today world famous, and he was the first
to promote them. He did so completely selflessly in the face
of an unimaginably spiteful resistance on the part of the press
and the public.»
Born Georg Lewin, son of a Berlin doctor, he initially trained
to be a pianist and composer, before he founded the Verein
für Kunst (Art Society) in 1904 as a platform for young authors.
In 1910 he started the journal Der STURM, in which,
among others, Alfred Döblin, Guillaume Apollinaire, Rudolf
Blümner, Max Brod and Karl Kraus published. 10 The STURMGallery,
which he opened in 1912 in Potsdamerstrasse 134
A (in Berlin) exhibited works by artists who were unknown
at the time, for example Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Wassily
Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Marc, August Macke, Heinrich
Campendonk, Oskar Kokoschka, Fernand Léger, Lyonel Feininger,
Alexej Jawlensky, Gabriele Münter, Hans Arp and Robert Delaunay, and he helped these substantially to establish
themselves in the art market. 11
Nell Roslund (1887-1975) came across the journal Der
STURM in 1910 at the home of her friend Hedwig Schlasbert,
Herwarth Waldens sister, in Landskrona, Sweden. In 1911
she met Herwarth there. A second chance meeting in Berlin
in 1912 led to them collaborating on his STURM projects. In
November 1912 they married.12 Their first joint project was
preparing an international exhibition, the Erster Deutscher
Herbstsalon (First German Autumn Salon) in September
1913, with approximately „400 works by 75 artists“ from
France, the Netherlands, India, Italy, Austria, Rumania, Russia,
Switzerland, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the USA
and Germany.13 At the time the exhibition was panned by the
media, but today it is considered to have been an important
event in the art world. In subsequent years Der STURM organised
hundreds of exhibitions throughout Germany and Europe.
Until their divorce in 1924 Nell, as Herwarth‘s colleague,
was an important foundation and, at least from 1914 to 1918,
the main source of finance for the projects. «I gave Herwarth
Walden half my salary for the STURM.» 14 She supported the
exhibitions and the journal and helped make them possible
through her work as a correspondent for Swedish newspapers
and as a translator for the Foreign Office. Later she wrote:
«Financially the best years for him and for the STURM were,
strangely enough, the war years 1914-1918. This was due to
the fact that I had the possibility in those years to earn a lot
of money and was working for ten Swedish newspapers, as
well as being a Foreign Office editor for Scandinavia and for
the German war press.» 15 From 1919 Herwarth Walden was
increasingly active in politics and became a member of the
Communist Party. The art projects became less important. In
1924 he and Nell divorced by consent, but did not break off
relations. «My friendship, support and collaboration in his
great STURM project continued undiminished.» 16
The last STURM exhibitions were held in 1929. The journal
ceased to be published in 1932. In the same year Herwarth
Walden went to Moscow. There he was arrested in 1941,
accused of spying, and he died in prison shortly afterwards.17
The Waldens‘ STURM collection
Her maternal grandfather was a ship owner, whose ships
sailed to India, China and Japan. Nell Walden reported: «…
I was asked how I came to be a collector and could answer
truthfully: ‘Collecting is an inherited vice in my case.’ (…) As
a child my greatest joy was to be in my grandparents‘ house,
whose large rooms, filled with objects from East Asia, fascinated
me. I have definitely inherited my passion for collecting
from my grandfather.» 18 In 1914 she acquired her first
pictures, for example, by Kandinsky: 19 «My actual collecting
mostly took place in the period from autumn 1914 to 1918.
This was quite understandable because I had a good income at
that time, which meant that I could acquire works by STURM
artists at every STURM exhibition.“ 20
At the request of Herwarth Walden only a small circle of
people in the know were informed about Nell Walden’s financial
support for the STURM. The resulting collection was
a joint collection. «But when he described our art collection
as ‘the Herwarth Walden collection’ I protested and Walden
had to admit that it was not right to call the collection I had
acquired with my money his, … We agreed on the name ‘Walden
collection’. While we were married this description was
probably correct.» 21 When they divorced in 1924 the collection
became hers, with the result that she “… probably owned
one of the most extensive private collections of modern art
in Germany.“ 22 In the 1920s the Walden Collection included
works by Alexander Archipenko, Heinrich Campendonk, Carlo
Carrá, Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Emil Filla, Johanns
Itten, Alexej Jawlensky, Bela Kadar, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul
Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Fernand Léger, André Lhote, August
Macke, Franz Marc, Gabriele Münter and Kurt Schwitters. 23
In September 1927 part of the Walden Collection was exhibited
for the first time at the Flechtheim Gallery, am Lützowufer
13, Berlin, entitled «Nell Walden-Heimann and her Collections».
24 Originally she meant to make the entire STURM
collection, including the archive, over to a museum in Berlin.
But due to the fact that the Nazis looked as though they would
soon seize power and since the Basel Kunsthalle was planning
to hold a STURM exhibition in any case, she transferred the
collection to Switzerland from 1932 and emigrated to Ascona
herself in 1933. Her husband, who was not (yet) ready to
leave Germany, was deported and murdered at the end of
the 1930s.25 The Walden Collection was first exhibited in the
Kunstmuseum, Bern from October 1944 to March 1945. Max
Huggler, the then director, wrote: “This collection had been
scattered over many places in Switzerland for years. (Now) …
most of the collection could be housed in the rooms available
here. This means that the Nell Walden Collection, which is an
indispensable element of 20th century art history, and now
famous, has been shown to be a unique, personal creation.“ 26
In subsequent years substantial parts of the collection went
to museums in Switzerland (Kusthalle Basel, Kunstmuseum
Bern) and Sweden (Moderna museet Stockholm, Landskrona
Museum). Many pieces were also privately owned. In 1954
the Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett Roman Norbert Ketterer held
an auction of works from the Walden collection, evoking great
interest worldwide among art dealers and collectors. Financial
success was not Nell Walden’s main aim. «At any rate my total
income from the auction was not higher than the sum which
one excellent picture from my collection would fetch upon
repurchase … the financial profit was never the main thing
for me.» 27 What was more important for her was sending a
signal to the public that the STURM, i.e. the combined efforts
of Herwarth Walden and his friends, had not been forgotten.
«Something good came of this auction and the STURM book,
which came out at the same time, after all: Herwarth Walden,
the STURM activities and the STURM artists were once again
brought to the public’s attention and received recognition.
Because until 1954 Walden and the STURM had actually fallen
into oblivion. Therefore this wake-up call was necessary.»
28 Nell Walden died in 1975 in Bern.
The Walden-Heimann ethnological collection
“I did not only collect paintings in my time in Berlin. There
was also an ethnographic collection, especially during my second
marriage, as I infected my husband Dr Hans Heimann
with my passion for collecting. The ethnographic objects interested
him even more than the pictures.» 30 As they were
married in 1926, it is certain that a major part of the collection
was acquired between 1926 and 1932. However, the earliest
documented piece obtained, a Duala stool (Cameroonian
coast), had already been acquired by Nell Walden in 1913 in …
Altre piste da seguire :
Arthur Segal (1875-1944), che Arp conosce a Berlino nel 1913 collaborando alla rivista Der Sturm (di Herwarth Walden, ex marito di Nell Walden che vive ad Ascona nella casa che poi apparterrà a Luigi Pericle).
mecenate di Arp, teosofo notevole (collabora con Fulcanelli)

À Ascona je dessinais au pinceau et à l’encre de Chine des branches cassées, des racines, des herbes et des pierres que le lac avait rejetées au rivage. Finalement je simplifiais ces formes et unissais leur essence dans des ovales mouvants, symboles de la métamorphose et du devenir du corps.

Da Hans Arp, Wegweiser/Jalons, scritto nel giugno del 1950 ad Ascona, in Jours effeuillés, 1966.

Jean Arp nel giardino di Ronco dei Fiori, 1965

Sebbene il percorso artistico e personale di Jean Arp sia stato sondato in numerose sedi, vi è un aspetto che viene per lo più tralasciato, ossia il legame duraturo di Arp con il Ticino e, in particolare, con la regione del Verbano. Questo legame e la bellezza del luogo porteranno Jean Arp a scegliere di passare gli ultimi anni della sua vita proprio a Locarno.

Nel 1914, dopo lo scoppio della prima guerra mondiale, Jean Arp e il fratello François fuggono da Colonia, dove entrambi vivevano, e si rifugiano a Parigi. Ma poco dopo, devono abbandonare anche la Francia e riparare in Svizzera. Nel 1915 giungono ad Ascona. Una scelta che non pare essere casuale, considerato che Arp in questi anni già sviluppa interessi e attività inerenti a filosofia, religione e spiritualità in genere (Arp legge Jakob Böhme, Meister Eckhart e Lao Tse, s’interessa di misticismo orientale e frequenta teosofi come l’amico René Schwaller), affini a quanto elaborato da più di un decennio nella regione e in particolare sul Monte Verità, sulla collina sopra Ascona. D’altro canto, nella regione in quegli anni vivono altri artisti e amici: innanzitutto il pittore rumeno Arthur Segal (1875-1944), che Arp conosce a Berlino nel 1913 collaborando alla rivista Der Sturm, e che vive ad Ascona dal 1914. Ad Ascona nel 1915 risiedono anche Adya e Otto van Rees, due artisti con i quali Arp collaborerà a Zurigo nel novembre dello stesso anno.

Ascona e il Monte Verità sono meta di Jean Arp anche negli anni seguenti, quando l’artista torna ad Ascona al seguito di Sophie Taeuber, che insieme ad altre giovani danzatrici soggiorna sul Monte Verità per frequentare le sessioni estive della “Scuola di danza” del danzatore e coreografo Rudolf von Laban. Ogni estate, Jean e Sophie da Zurigo giungono ad Ascona e con loro vi sono altri artisti del movimento Dada: Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings (che si stabiliranno poi in Ticino), Hans Richter, Marcel Janco, ecc. Sul Monte Verità, unitamente alla cerchia artistica locale – non si scordino Marianne Werefkin e Alexej Jawlensky, arrivati ad Ascona nel 1918, e anche Walter Helbig, amico e collega di Arp dai tempi delModerner Bund – gli artisti organizzano spettacoli, feste e mostre. Lo stesso Jean Arp, peraltro, ricorda la scoperta di elementi fondamentali per la sua arte proprio in riva al lago di Ascona, nel 1917.

Woty Rütgers, Sophie Taeuber e Jean Arp ad Ascona, 1925

Sempre ad Ascona, la famiglia Hagenbach aveva acquistato una casa di vacanza: Arp vi soggiorna spesso, negli anni Trenta con Sophie Taeuber e negli anni Cinquanta con Marguerite Hagenbach. Nasce così il progetto di stabilirsi nella regione e finalmente, nel 1959, Arp prende dimora a Locarno-Solduno, sempre insieme a Marguerite Hagenbach. Ben lungi dal vivervi un lento declino o una sorta di pensionamento, Arp continua a lavorare: oltre a stabilire uno studio in casa propria, s’insedia anche in uno degli atelier del complesso che lo scultore Remo Rossi crea nella zona “Saleggi” di Locarno. Qui Arp – a fianco di Hans Richter e Italo Valenti, anche loro attivi negli atelier – lavora regolarmente con l’aiuto degli assistenti Alberto Meli e Candido Epis, che realizzano le sue opere tardive.

Alberto Magnelli, Hans Richter, Jean Arp e Marguerite Arp a Locarno, 1965

Nel 1965, grazie all’intermediazione di Remo Rossi, viene allestita nelle sale del Castello Visconteo di Locarno una mostra con opere di Arp e di altri artisti della collezione Arp-Hagenbach. Ancora prima dell’inaugurazione dell’esposizione, Arp fa dono delle opere esposte alla Città di Locarno, con l’obiettivo di porre le basi per la fondazione di un museo di arte moderna. In segno di riconoscimento la Città conferisce alla coppia la cittadinanza onoraria.

Jean Arp si spegne a Basilea il 7 giugno del 1966 e riposa nel cimitero di Locarno.

Veronica Provenzale

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