Cutting edge


Somebody’s got the edge here, because there will be four good examples in this chapter. However, all of the people from Erfurt, Weimar, Jena and Weimar Land, mentioned here are at the top of their game. When top ideas are being hatched, top performances are easily spotted. Who cares about the number of corners, so?!


The creative head of a think tank

Questions to Jonas Zipf / Works Director JenaKultur

In 2019, the Bauhaus anniversary is being celebrated all over Thuringia. Because of its proximity to the cradle of Bauhaus: Weimar – Jena is also coming into the spotlight. What events are planned?

In the context of the Bauhaus anniversary, we are looking at what has become of the actual Bauhaus. We’re directing the utilisation and functionality of original and formative Bauhaus buildings, like the Auerbach Villa or the Jena Theatre. We’re looking at the neon signs of Walter Dexel and the dream of the architectural elite, the serial Architecture a la Prefabrication, but we’re also trying to figure out what is still worth keeping for the future, from all of this Bauhaus inheritance.

Jena is the city of light and illuminates the whole ImpulseRegion with its ideas and its creative heads. What events will illustrate this the most, in 2019?

Let me mention just 2 examples of special events: First of all the award giving and realisation of the Botho-Graef-artistic prize of Jena city to honour Eduard Rosenthal. Under the title The missing portrait, seven internationally renowned visual artists will engage with the rich heritage of this citizen of Jena, patron, lawyer and politician who was Eduard Rosenthal. The aim is to create a de-centralised monument that’s going to be presented in Erfurt, Weimar and Jena. Second example is the Architectural contest in real-time: 72 Hour Urban Action, from the 2nd – 5th May in West Lobeda. 60 residents of Lobeda and 60 volunteers from all around the world will create ten provisional buildings and thus solve ten constructional urban problems. For this project, JenaKultur interacts not only with national and international actors, but also with various local players, like the Jena building societies Carl Zeiss WG or jenawohnen, the IBA Thuringia, the Bauhaus University and many more.

In short: What’s so special about Jena?

Diversity, civil society, innovation!

Event tip:
The concerts of our new General Musical Director of the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra Simon Gaudenz.



Only top engagements!

Three facts about Ute Wieckhorst / Actress and Lecturer in Dramatic Arts, from Weimar

Trained — Ute Wieckhorst studied from 1994 – 1998 at the College of Drama “Ernst Busch” in Berlin. She was already acting in plays at the “Maxim - Gorki - Theatre in Berlin, whilst still at college.

Ready for film — Since 1998, Ute Wieckhorst also acts in front of the camera. To German TV audiences, she is best known for her role as the forensic Dr.Seelenbinder, in the Weimar “Tatort” series, where she sometimes has to deal with corpses that escape from the dissecting table… She also acted in the apocalyptic movie “Endzeit”  (“Ever after”) with zombies.

Histories — She likes to take on historical roles. In her own production “Luther and the women – only your faith counts”, she impersonates the role of Ave von Schönfeld, but she also presents Goethe’s women or emancipated Bauhaus artists in an unforgettable manner.

Insider tip:
Booking for groups, from Weimar Tourist – Info, brand new in 2019: 30 – minute – play “Women of the Bauhaus Benita Otte and Gunta Stölzl - Addicted to the loom”.



Top prices for village churches

Questions and answers about Lyonel Feininger (1871 – 1956)

The German-American is one of the most important artists of the modern classic era. He was the first Bauhaus form-master to be called to Weimar by Walter Gropius, in 1919. He was also connected to Erfurt. It was here, that he had his first solo exhibitions, a workshop for a short period of time and – most importantly – a patron. Who is it?

A)   The Jewish shoe manufacturer Alfred Hess
B)   The German writer Alfred Döblin

His paintings of churches and village depictions, i.e. Mellingen, Vollersroda or Zottelstedt in the Weimar Land have become world famous. In the years between 1906 and 1937, he went off again and again, to find new subjects in this area. What was the price the Weimar Classics Foundation had to pay for his painting Gelmeroda XI (1928) at an auction?

A)   1.666.000 Euro         
B)   10.666.000 Euro

“Mystical”, “monumental”, “magnificent” are only a few of the admiring words, that Feininger prompted by finding those “churches in the middle of nowhere”. What exceptional sculpture can be seen today, in the village of Mellingen??

A)   The oversized replica of a crunched-up sandwich wrapper, with pencilled sketches, that Feininger handed to a stunned local of Mellingen, in 1910 on one of his sketching tours.
B)   A more than 20 meter – high tower made from pipes and rods in the colours that are typical for Bauhaus style. The structure shows in three dimensions what Feininger usually put on paper.

Tips for trips:
In countless sketches and in various techniques, the Gelmeroda church, close to Weimar, evolved into being the main subject in Feininger’s cubistic work, even when he long lived back in New York. It’s not just the always open doors of this Thüringen village church that attract the faithful to visit as soon as they come off the Autobahn. It’s also its high steeple and the nightly light installations that amaze the gazing eye. The church is one of the stops on the 28 km - long Feininger cycling trail that shows glass stand-up displays of Feininger subjects in relation to their original places.



Textile top results

Stories from the loom about Margaretha Reichardt (1907-1984) / Textile designer from Erfurt  

She could never open the knot she tied with Erfurt. It kept her there for her whole life. In 1961, for the opening of the first International Garden Exhibition (iga) she pays homage to her beloved home town of Erfurt by weaving a big Gobelin tapestry depicting symbols of the town. The front shows the unmistakable silhouette of the Cathedral mound, in strong colours. The background shows the colourful ega park, the area of the garden exhibition. A woven declaration of love. She had refused several offers for professorships in Hamburg, Kassel and Munich – but let’s start at the beginning! Only daughter of a master tailor and sexton of the St Severi church, she did a four – year apprenticeship at the Erfurt school of arts and crafts, starting in 1921. In 1926, she moved to Dessau, where she did another four and half years of studies at the Bauhaus. Already during that time, she caught people’s attention with her unusual ideas, her willingness to experiment with different materials and her attention to detail. With the Diploma in Textile Design No. 5 in her pocket, she opened her own hand weaver’s workshop in Erfurt. Her designs, sent to exhibitions in Paris (1937) and Milan (1939) returned with great awards. After 1945, she still took part in international exhibitions, receiving numerous design awards, also the Art’s Award of the GDR, 4 years before her death. All her life, she was fully committed to the ideas of Bauhaus, with regards to architecture and design and passed on their intellectual and cultural principles to a good many students. The Erfurt Anger museum, in co-operation with the Apolda Art House Avangarde dedicated a solo exhibition to this outstanding textile artist, in 2009. Part of it was a nine – part series of pieces she had made for the Weimar National Theatre, containing, amongst others “The Faustian man”. Another wall hanging illustrates the Latin phrase “De gustibus non esdisputandum! “, which means: “There is no accounting for taste.”  Margaretha Reichardt knew that it is impossible to single out one particular taste as the best one. It is the variety and diversity of her ideas and feelings that make her art so exciting.

Insider tip:
Margaretha Reichardt’s house and workshop, built in 1939, nowadays a branch of the Erfurt Anger museum, is part of the rich cultural fund of the capital of the Thüringen land. It is possible to visit the original living spaces of the artist and to get an insight into the actual art of hand weaving. Booking only.


Answers to Quiz: 1A, 2A, 3B