Münchner Künstlerhaus at Lenbachplatz

Munich House of Artists at Lenbachplatz

The Kuenstlerhaus - a vital part in the history of the city of Munich

The Münchner Künstlerhaus was conceived as a meeting place for artists and society alike and is still living proof of the style and society model of its time of origin. Not only the historical building itself but also its culture of festivities has become a vital part of the history of Munich. Admittedly, German is a tricky language sometimes and literally translated it is the "Munich House of Artists" and easier to pronounce for non-Germans.

The Kuenstlerhaus then and now

In 1893 prince regent Luitpold has laid the foundation stone of the building designed by architect Gabriel von Seidl and in 1900 Luitpold opened the house to the public in person. Thus he turned a dream of those artists from Munich being united in the "Allotria Artist Society" into reality: to bring together the patricians, the well-to-do brewery families and new industrialists in one place to meet the artists of the time: Franz von Lenbach, Fritz August Kaulbach and Franz von Stuck had been well known hosts for and creators behind countless exciting events.

Following glorious decades of festivities, masked balls and banquets the house burned down following a bombing raid on Munich on July 14, 1944. After the war US troops impounded the building, returning its operation to the House of Artists Association in 1954. Following the reconstruction led by Professor Erwin Schleich, the Münchner Künstlerhaus was re-opened to the public by Duke Albrecht of Bavaria on October 1, 1961. Over the first three decades economic problems - induced by the re-construction financing - prevailed and limited the participation of the Münchner Künstlerhaus in the cultural life of the city. In 1991, Peter Grassinger and his wife Maja took over management and re-opened after a thorough renovation in 1998.

Public perception of art and society have changed dramatically after more than a century. Hence the development and management of the Münchner Künstlerhaus changed as well and a different relationship between artist and society evolved. Bearing the banner - "Nobis et Amicis" ("for ourselves and our friends") on the outside of the building in mind - the Münchner Künstlerhaus has broadened its approach and appeal. In the founding years access was restricted to the elite of artists and patrons. Today its wide variety of congresses, festivities, and exhibitions attracts citizens of Munich from all walks of life to mingle with politicians, scientists and artists.

Muenchner Kuenstlerhaus Foundation

At present the management tailors a rich and colourful cultural programme in cooperation with over 50 cultural associations and institutions, resulting in a multitude of different themes. To ensure the special concept of the Münchner Künstlerhaus in the future, its operation was changed into the Muenchner Kuenstlerhaus-Stiftung (Munich House of Artists Foundation) in 2001.

The foundation fulfils its multiple duties without public subsidies. Income from renting out rooms for private festivities as well as the gratuity of private donors constitute the financial backbone of the Muenchner Kuenstlerhaus.

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