The Max-Liebermann-Society

The Max Liebermann-Society was founded in 1995 with the aim of restoring the house and garden, and transforming them into a museum. After a long and tough negotiation process, the association finally took charge of the Liebermann Villa in summer 2002. At the time, both house and garden were in dire need of refurbishment. A German scuba diving club (DUC) had been using the premises as their clubhouse, with recreation rooms and a bar on the ground floor, an aquarium wall in the hall between dining room and lounge, and a cinema on the first floor. In the garden, almost all that was left were the chestnut tree, the tall lime hedge and remnants of the other hedges. Instead of well-proportioned garden areas, there were uneven lawns, a car park and wildly growing spruces. However, when the restoration team took stock of the situation, they discovered many original traces of paint, parts of the parquet flooring and some historical roof tiles. Using these as a guide, the team was able to restore the house to its original splendour. The garden was reconstructed using historical sources and Max Liebermann’s paintings. The perennial and cottage gardens were restored in the first phase of reconstruction, and the famous birch grove was replanted the same year. Finally, the three hedge gardens with their striking hedge doors and the tea pavilion on the banks of Lake Wannsee were reinstalled.

The restoration of the Liebermann Villa is an extraordinary feat of civic engagement, and would never have been possible without the generous donations of foundations and individuals, and the tireless voluntary efforts of the members of the Max Liebermann Society. In April 2008, the society received the European Heritage Award in recognition of its work. However, donations, membership fees, and voluntary work on a large scale will remain essential in future too, as the Liebermann Villa does not receive any public funding. The society is required to cover all the costs of maintaining the building and running the museum itself. We are therefore always delighted to welcome new members to the society to ensure that future generations can enjoy the Liebermann Villa too.

If you would like to support our work and become a member of the Max Liebermann Society, please click here.