The Painter and the Manageress
11 June – 17 September 2023

August Macke is considered a major protagonist of modernism. The role his wife Elisabeth played in Macke’s artistic career – apart from being his muse and model – has, however, barely been given any consideration to date. An artist herself, Elisabeth was a gifted networker and cleverly managed her husband’s estate, contributing significantly to Macke’s success.

In this exhibition, first shown at the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur (Westphalian State Museum of Art and Cultural History) in Münster, the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel takes a close look at the couple’s artistic lives for the first time. Portraits that August Macke drew and painted of Elisabeth form one of the central themes.

Important milestones in August Macke’s œuvre, such as the journey to Tunis and his exploration of abstraction, as well as objects he produced as a decorative artist, have been embellished and are considered in a new light through the inclusion of works from the collection of the Franz Marc Museum and through new loans. Watercolours, humorous drawings and letters shown at the Franz Marc Museum highlight the network that existed among the ‘Blauer Reiter’ artists. The juxtaposition of how Elisabeth Macke and Maria Marc handled the artistic estates of their husbands, who both died in World War I, sharpens our view of their respective strategies.

A cooperation with the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster.

The exhibition was initiated, accompanied and financed by the Franz Dieter und Michaela Kaldewei Kulturstiftung.

The exhibition has also been sponsored by:
Kulturfonds, Bereich Kunst – Bavarian State Ministry for Science and the Arts.

August Macke, Portrait with Apples, 1909 (detail), Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Kunstbau Munich, Bernhard und Elly Koehler Stiftung 1965