Special Exhibition

Lesser Ury, Train Station Nollendorfplatz
by night, 1925
© Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin


Opening hours:
Eaily except Tuesdays
10 a.m.  - 6 p.m.
Open on public holidays.

Admission: 8 € / 5 € red.



Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury

Impressions of Berlin


19 May - 26 August 2019


The Liebermann-Villa on Wannsee initially demonstrated a contrast of the two Berlin impressionists Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury. In doing so Ury would hardly have been invited to Liebermann’s “Schloss am See” (Castle by the Lake), if the fellow artists felt an intense antipathy towards each other. Liebermann recognised the talent of the younger Ury and supported him at the beginning. However, an anecdote puts a sudden light on the estrangement of the two artists: Ury had namely claimed that he had painted the light effects in Liebermann’s masterpiece “Flachsscheuer in Laren” (the Flax barn at Laren, 1887). Liebermann replied to this in a letter to the publicist Maximilian Harden 1907: “I would call the prosecutor first, if he claimed, I had painted his pictures.” From then on Liebermann hindered Ury’s career whenever he could. Ury could only present regularly at the Berlin Secession after Liebermann stepped down as chairman in 1913.

Both Berlin impressionists were not only contrasting personalities and from very different Jewish milieus of Germany - their art also goes in different directions. The exhibition traces the impressionisms of the two and there is a neutral terrain in Liebermann’s Summer villa, where both can meet artistically with about 45 paintings and works on paper. The focus is on both painter’s big city pictures of Berlin. Therefore, the comparison is also so worthwhile, because both have their own specific view of Berlin. While Liebermann is a lover of the greenery, always returning to berlin’s zoos and parks, Ury is more interested in the modern large city, preferring night scenes with car traffic, street lights and typical Berlin buildings in his work. In the clash of Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury, the result is the exhibition of a different view for both protagonists of the art scene for the global city of Berlin at the beginning of the 20th century.

In Cooperation with Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin