Honoré Daumier (1808–1879)

Daumier par lui-même, um 1855 / Guss 1956 / Self-Portrait, ca. 1855 / Cast 1956

With this self-portrait, Honoré Daumier departs from the usual classical bust forms of the time. From a roughly worked, stele-like base, the artist’s face is created with an impressionistic surface. The unfinished parts of this sculpture are typical of a much later form of sculpture, which gives the viewer’s imagination greater scope. It was not until decades later that Auguste Rodin became famous for his sculptures and statuary art works the so-called non-finito (Italian for unfinished).


Honoré Daumier (1808–1879)

Les femmes socialistes (The Socialist Women), 1849

The Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz own an extensive collection of graphic works by Honoré Daumier. Erich Goeritz (1889-1955) donated a bundle of over 1100 lithographs in 1925. With these prints, Chemnitz has the largest collection outside France.

In 10 pictures, Daumier reacts to the women’s movement of the time from the perspective of his (mainly male) contemporaries: The result of the emancipation are failures towards household and family, because the conspiracy towards the husbands, the disobedience and neglect of the household threaten the whole social order.


Page 1 from: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

L’insurrection contre les maris est proclamée le plus saint des devoirs !…

The uprising against the husbands is declared the highest duty! …


Page 2 fom: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

– Comme vous vous faites belle, ma chère?

– Ah ! c’est que je vais à un banquet présidé par Pierre Leroux … et si vous saviez comme il est vétilleux pour la toilette !…


– What are you prettying up for, my dear?

– Oh, I’m going to a reception presided over by Pierre Leroux… and as you should know, he attaches great value to clothes! …


Page 3 from: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

– Il parait que les clubs vont être complètement fermés …

– Les réacs… ils n’auraient jamais osé faire cela avant que la légion des Vésuviennes fut dissoute !…


– It seems the clubs are being… closed…

– These reactionaries… they’d never have dared that before the dissolution of the Legion Vésuvienne!


Page 4 from: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

– Ah ! il prétend m’empêcher d’aller communier avec nos huit cents frères à la barrière du Maine … il faut que je punisse tant d’insolence !

– Arrêtez, Églantine, laissez ce tyran aux remords de sa conscience.


– Oh! He intends to prevent me from contacting our eight hundred brothers of the Maine barrier… so much insolence must be punished!

– Stop, Eglantine, let the tyrant have the remorse of his convictions.


Page 5 from: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

– Oui, ma chère, mon mari a ravalé ma dignité de femme jusqu’à me forcer ce matin à recoudre un bouton de bretelle !…

– Jour de ma vie, si un homme me forçait à travailler à sa culotte !…


– Yes, my dear, my husband goes so far in the violation of my womanly dignity that this morning he forced me to sew a button on his suspenders!

– What I’d give for a man to force me to tackle his trousers!


Page 6 from: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

… qu’est la femme aujourd’hui dans la société, rien ! Que doit-elle être ? tout … oui, tout, tout !…

– Ah ! bravo, bravo, c’est encore plus beau que le dernier discours de Jeanne Deroin !…


…what is the worth of a woman in society today? Nothing! What should she be? …yes, everything, everything! …

– Oh! Bravo, bravo, this is even better than the last speech of Jeanne Deroin! …


Page 7 from: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

– Ah ! vous êtes mon mari, ah ! vous vous êtes le maître … eh ! bien moi, j’ai le droit de vous flanquer à la porte de chez nous … Jeanne Deroin me l’a prouvé hier soir !… allez vous expliquer avec elle !…


– Oh, you want to be my husband! You want to be the master of the house… And I, I have the right to throw you out of your own house… Jeanne Deroin explained it to me last night! Go and talk to each other!


Page 8 from: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

« Les délégués du club central socialiste ont à l’unanimité repoussé la candidature de Jeanne Deroin ! »

– Oh ! Les aristos !…


“The delegates of the Central Federation of Socialists have unanimously rejected Jeanne Deroin’s candidacy!”

– Oh, those snobs! …


Page 9 from: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

Repoussée comme candidate à l’Assemblée Nationale, une porte me reste encore ouverte …laisse-moi Zénobie … ne trouble pas mes pensées…je suis en train de rédiger un manifeste à l’Europe !…


– I was rejected as a candidate for the National Assembly, but there is still a door open for me… leave me alone, Zénobie… don’t disturb me when I’m thinking… Right now I’m working on a manifesto for Europe! …


Page 10 from: Les femmes socialistes / The Socialist Women

– Ma femme reste bien longtemps à ce banquet … voilà bientôt quarante-huit heures qu’elle est partie !


– My wife is staying at this banquet for a long time… she’s been gone almost 48 hours now!


Dekorationsstoff, Frankreich, vor 1900 / Decorative fabrics, France, before 1900

Precious silks from Lyon stood for luxury and prosperity, but also sophistication and textile artistic perfection. It was not for nothing that the silk weaving mills from Lyon were world market leaders and aroused the interest of Chemnitz producers.

The silks presented here were made on the jacquard loom invented in Lyon in 1805 and were used as wall decoration. The motifs are partly indebted to the emerging Art Nouveau, but also draw from the historical vocabulary of forms. Particularly attractive is the damask with water lilies and moiré effect, which imitates a moving water surface. Two representative fabrics also present the panneaux »Couronne« by Adrien Karbowsky and »Les Orchidées« by Alexandre Sandier. Both fabrics were shown with great success at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. Alexandre Sandier even won the 1st prize of the Union centrale des arts décoratifs (UCAD) in 1894 with his stylized orchids. The fabrics captivate by their extremely fine weaving technique.


Damenstrümpfe, 1900–1910 / Stockings, 1900–1910

Friedrich Kircheisen, Chemnitz

Chemnitz was once the stronghold of stocking manufacture. About 600,000 stockings were produced daily in Chemnitz and the surrounding area. While white stockings were still popular around 1870, the use of the chemical colour aniline around 1880 brought black, later coloured striped, chequered stockings and stockings produced in various patterns into fashion. Due to the intense colours of the stockings, the Chemnitz stocking manufacturer Friedrich Kircheisen was considered the »king of colours«.

A company of world renown was also the Moritz Samuel Esche company at Walkgraben. Stockings of this company were exported worldwide, mainly to North and South America, but also to Asia, where they even received their own trademark. The stockings with the melodious names »Gloria«, »Fussgold« or »Nirwana« were much sought-after by the ladies and stood for quality and modernity.

More than 5,000 historic stockings are now in the textile inventory of the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz. They were added to the collection in the 1960s by Moritz Bellmann and by the heiress of the Chemnitz stocking factory Friedrich Kircheisen and mainly comprise ladies’, men’s and children’s stockings from the period between 1885 and 1915.





Max Klinger (1857–1920)

Ein Handschuh, Opus VI, 1881, 4. Ausgabe 1898 / A Glove, Opus VI, 1881, Volume 4 1898

The series belonged to the private collection of Hans Hermann Vogel. In June 1946 his company was expropriated and the art was later assigned to the museum. After the restitution, his granddaughter, Erdmuthe Ostmann-von Dewitz, made a generous donation in 1995 to enable these works to remain in the collection.

Ein Handschuh (One glove) is Klinger’s most popular etching cycle. It depicts the discovery of a glove that a lady loses on the roller skating rink. The young man picks up the glove and while asleep experiences adventurous dreams that revolve around his falling in love. The story has an autobiographical background. During his studies at the Berlin Academy, Klinger met a Cuban woman with whom he began a love affair.


Max Klinger (1857–1920)

Männlicher Halbakt mit Vollbart im verlorenen Profil nach links (Hephaistos), Karton zum Chemnitzer Rathausbild: Arbeit=Wohlstand=Schönheit, 1912 / Male Semi-nude with Full Beard in a Lost Profile View to the Left (Hephaistos), Cardboard to the Chemnitz City Hall Picture: Arbeit=Wohlstand=Schönheit (Work=Prosperity=Beauty), 1912

The Graphic Arts Collection contains 28 cardboard fragments and study drawings for the only surviving mural by the artist. It was commissioned in 1911 by the textile entrepreneur Herman Vogel on the occasion of the inauguration of the New Town Hall in Chemnitz. The wall painting entitled Arbeit=Wohlstand=Schönheit (Work=Prosperity=Beauty) was completed in 1918. It shows nine muses and a group of gods from Greek mythology in the foreground. A drawing by the artist and bodybuilder Lionel Strongfort served as the model for the monumental male nude. Strongfort, actually Max Unger, also appeared with his program in Leipzig’s Krystallpalast (Crystal Palace) and posed for Max Klinger.


Max Klinger (1857–1920)     

Kassandra, 1895

The bronze is based on a marble half figure of Max Klinger created in 1895. In this work Klinger devotes himself to the fate of the Trojan Princess Cassandra. Equipped with the gift of seeing the future, but cursed by the god Apollo, she foresaw the downfall of Troy, but could not prevent it. Klinger reduces the tragedy of her person to the form of a bust. The focus is on her serious gaze, aware of the threat of disaster. The green patina as an expression of the hope of being able to avert the tragedy after all gives the work an additional symbolic meaning.


Max Klinger (1857–1920)

Brustbild einer weiblichen Figur im Dreiviertelprofil nach links / Bust portrait of a female figure, three quarters profile to the left


charmingly pretty

eyes hair mouth

Why do you look so sad?


The view from outside: Elfchen von Lenja, 10, Pablo Neruda elementary school, Chemnitz


Plakat für METEOR-Fahrräder der Fabrik Friedrich Langhan, Zella-Mehlis, um 1900 / Poster for METEOR Bicycles of the Factory Friedrich Langhan, Zella-Mehlis, ca. 1900

Kunstanstalt Grimme & Hempel, Leipzig-Schleussig

At the beginning of the 20th century, the bicycle became a popular means of transport. Women also discovered cycling for themselves. New freedoms and possibilities opened up, as this scenery impressively shows. Relaxed and untroubled, the young couple cycles towards the sunset on the shore of a lake. The lettering METEOR refers to the product, to METEOR bicycles from the Thuringian company Friedrich Langhan in Zella-Mehlis. Until the Second World War this company produced bicycles.


Alfred Kunze (1866–1943)

Lokomotiventransport in Chemnitz, um 1908 / Locomotive Transport in Chemnitz, ca: 1908

As a Chemnitz absurdity, transports of completed locomotives from the well-known Hartmann company to the railway station were regularly carried out by road until 1908 due to the lack of its own rail connection. With this sheet, Kunze added this spectacular event to his oeuvre, which was largely influenced by Chemnitz vedute.

The enormous team, brought to paper with an artistic claim and accompanied by onlookers, is at the same time a contemporary document of high standing. He focuses in great detail on the cold-blooded creatures that are hard at work, without neglecting their whip-wielding leaders.

The view from outside: Ralf Müller, 61, graduate engineer


Arthur Lewin-Funcke (1866–1937)  

Sandalenbinderin, 1906 / Guss 1916 / Female Binder of Sandals, 1906 / Cast 1916

The Sandalenbinderin (Female Binder of sandals) is one of the artist’s main works and is at the same time an examination of a classical motif from antiquity. A first casting was acquired by the Kunstsammlungen as early as 1913, but had to be given away and melted down around 1943 to donate metal. Apart from this second copy, acquired in 1988, only one other life-size version is known to exist in the town hall of Berlin-Zehlendorf.


Constantin Emile Meunier (1831–1905)

Die Industrie, 1901 / The Industry, 1901

Constantin Meunier became famous for his motifs from the world of work and industry. This relief is dedicated to the industrial production process and was created as a preparatory work for one of the four pedestal reliefs in his Monument to Work in Brussels. Meunier made several versions of the sculpture in different sizes. The Chemnitz copy is based on a less detailed relief design from 1890.


Georges Mosson (1851–1933)

Kaffeehaus, 1889 / Coffee House, 1889

Born in Aix-en-Provence, Georges Mosson had lived in Berlin since 1865 and was one of the leading impressionists in the circle around Max Liebermann. This early work is one of the painter’s rare interior paintings. It shows the interior of a café, whose crowded guests and eager waiters seem to be wrapped in diffuse cigarette smoke. The laughter, the noise, scraps of conversation and clattering dishes seem to become audible. The painting was restored by the artist himself at the request of the museum in November 1932, as a layer of an older design lying beneath the painting had broken through.


Ludwig Muhrmann (1886–1970)

Erntearbeiter, 1913 / Harvester, 1913

Shimmering heat surrounds the harvester, who is monumentally depicted by the artist. In his arm and hand he holds a clay jug each. The artist has skilfully depicted the materiality of the clay jugs. The artist has captured the summer heat and dryness with warm sandy tones and colored shadows.

Until its restoration in 2017, the painting appeared gray and dull. Dirt deposits from many decades changed the painting. The canvas was wavy and limp. By stretching the canvas and cleaning the surface of the painting with special sponges, the colorfulness intended by the artist could be regained.

Detlef Göschel, painting restorer


Georges Redon (1869–1943)

Plakat für das Theater MARIGNY in Paris, 1905 / Poster for the Theatre MARIGNY in Paris, 1905

Triplets, three girls on a bench. Red dresses, white tufts on their hats and at the end of their dresses. They sit on a green bench in front of the theater

and wait for the opening.

They want to be first.

The theater’s reopening.

It’s about to open.

They’re excited.

The theater’s opening!

Ooooohhhhh, it’s exciting.

They’re going in.

The view from outside: Dorothea, 8, Rudolf School, Chemnitz


Gustav Schaffer (1881–1937)

Plakat der Künstlergruppe Chemnitz anlässlich der Ausstellung im Kunstsalon Gerstenberger, 1907 / Poster of the Artist’s Group Chemnitz on the occasion of the exhibition in the Kunstsalon Gerstenberger, 1907

In a strong orange color tone, Schaffer announces loudly an exhibition of the ARTISTS’ GROUP CHEMNITZ to the world. It escaped the viewer’s notice that it was nothing less than the genesis of a group of artists in the industrial city of Chemnitz. The artists dared to live from their art “off the beaten track” in the future. Artistic homogeneity within the group was sought in vain. The members were too individually shaped for that. Nevertheless, the venture must have been successful, because the core of the group remained together for over 25 years. From then on, the artists had an important voice in the art world.

The view from outside: Ralf Müller, 61, graduate engineer


Schlingengeweberest mit Zierstreifenfragment, Ägypten, 4. bis 8. Jh. n. Chr. / Rest of looped mesh fabrics with fragment of a trim, Egypt, 4th-8th century AD

The Egyptian and Coptic textiles from the holdings of the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz date from the 4th to 8th century AD and comprise a stock of almost 600 pieces. Originally used for tunics, shawls, and coats as well as for furnishing public and private rooms, they were eventually used to clothe or cover the deceased. The fabrics were made of linen and wool, but also of silk. The patterns were woven into a ground weave, from which the patterned sections stood out, using knitting techniques.

Textiles of this kind have been handed down through rich archaeological finds. They were discovered at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, mostly in graves, especially in the necropolises of the ancient Upper Egyptian cities of Panopolis and Antinoupoli. Soil conditions and climate have favoured the conservation of the finds.

The collection of Coptic textiles came to the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz in 1909 through the generous donation of the Chemnitz entrepreneur Hans Vogel.


Julius Scholtz, Bildnis Helene Theresie Gräfin von Einsiedel-Wolkenburg, 1874

Julius Scholtz (1825–1893)  

Bildnis Helene Therese Gräfin von Einsiedel-Wolkenburg, geb. Keysselitz, 1874 / Portrait Helene Therese Countess of Einsiedel-Wolkenburg, born Keysselitz, 1874

The 22-year-old Countess von Einsiedel-Wolkenburg (1852-1907) is depicted here. When she married in 1872, she became a member of the influential von Einsiedel family and lived at Wolkenburg Castle. She wears a splendid white dress in keeping with the fashion of the early Wilhelminian period. Countless bows, ribbons and delicate lace effectively adorn the abundance of the white fabric. The painter skilfully sets the finest nuances of white against each other, playing with the sheen of silk, tulle and light. The lavish splendor of the fabric is contrasted by the charming delicate face with a pastel like application of color. Wearing a glazed glove, the family’s dog can be seen at the bottom left of the picture.

The view from outside:

She has the same name as me.

The picture is about the same size as me.

She is sitting on a house wall.

She is pregnant.

Next to her lies a dog.

She has dark circles under her eyes.

A plant is growing behind her.

She has a plaited braid.

In her hand she holds a bonnet.

The dog beside her has stolen her glove.

Helene, 10, Rosa Luxemburg primary school, Chemnitz


Martha Schrag (1870–1957)

Blick auf die Vorstadt Kappel, Chemnitz, 1930 / View of the Suburb Kappel, Chemnitz, 1930

Often the artist chose less attractive views for her motifs. Immersed in a sulphurous atmosphere, the picture breathes the merciless dreariness of the zeitgeist of the world economic crisis. The central motif is a multi-aisled round-arched gable, which she found in the workshop of an iron foundry. The striking gable became an icon in the artist’s work, as it has made several appearances in her works since the beginning of her oeuvre.

At the same time, Martha Schrag’s painting sets a monument to the round arches that still shape the cityscape today, and it itself became part of the city’s cultural identity.

The view from outside: Ralf Müller, 61, graduate engineer


Martha Schrag (1870–1957)

Feierabend, 1914 / End of the Work Day, 1914

Woodcuts, along with lithographs, are preferred techniques in the artist’s impressive graphic work, which was produced until 1936.

She found the motif in the Oelsnitz coal district. The skewed dwelling, which stands in contrast to the mighty pits, together with groups of people in the center of the depiction gives the picture its human dimension. One is received at the door at the end of the day, while others hurry to their shift. Here, angular black and white contrasts and reduced forms show exemplarily the artist’s development towards expressive forms of expression.

The view from outside: Ralf Müller, 61, graduate engineer


Max Slevogt, Dame in Braun (Else Bernau), 1908

Max Slevogt (1868–1932)

Dame in Braun (Else Berna), 1908 / Lady in brown (Else Berna), 1908

Proud, sensual and self-confident, the young woman looks into the audience as if from a stage. Shown is the theater and film actress Else Berna, who among other things appeared as a singer at the Berlin Metropol-Theater between 1906 and 1908 and later will play in films with Emil Jannings and Pola Negri. Slevogt shows the young woman in a brown costume with feather boa, with a luxurious hat, noble gloves and a softly falling blouse. Her steadfast gaze is set in motion by picturesquely vivid and light brushstrokes. A masterpiece by Slevogt, who together with Max Liebermann and Lovis Corinth is one of the triumvirate of German Impressionism.


Max Slevogt (1868–1932)

Bildnis des Kommerzienrates Hans Hermann Vogel, 1925 / Portrait of the Councilor of Commerce Hans Hermann Vogel, 1925

The Vogel family of industrialists often supported and promoted culture in Chemnitz at the beginning of the 20th century. For example, Hans Hermann Vogel (1867-1941) donated about 600 fabric fragments of Egyptian textiles from late antiquity and early Islamic times to the arts and crafts association on the occasion of the opening of the museum. His father Hermann Vogel (1841-1917) donated 200,000 marks on the same occasion, mainly for the purchase of works of art for the municipal collection. At the beginning of 1911 he also commissioned the mural Arbeit = Wohlstand = Schönheit (Work=Prosperity=Beauty) from his artist friend Max Klinger for the Chemnitz town hall.


Robert Sterl (1867–1932)

Fabrikhalle [Krupp AG, Essen], um 1918 / Factory Hall [Krupp AG, Essen], ca. 1918

What impressions must have been on site – what incomparable noise of the machines? Smells of oil, steam, engines, people? The wall of glass tries to bring brightness, but the narrowness between the machines contrasts with the vastness upwards and certainly devours all light often enough. The multitude of stimuli on the floor blurs in the picture to an indistinct red-grained noise. Only the intangible height leaves enough space to deal with the quieter details.

The view from outside: Anett, 39, illustrator


Robert Sterl (1867–1932)

Sonniger Steinbruch, 1910 / Sunny Quarry, 1910

The representation of the stone crushers is extremely picturesque. With a sketchy brushstroke in light colors, light and brightness are the actual subject of the picture. The artist and son of a stonemason had many opportunities in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains to make studies of quarry workers. In general, the depiction of active people – from conductors to steelworkers – is a recurrent theme in the work of the artist, who taught as professor at the Dresden Academy of Art from 1906. Sterl was long considered an insider tip. In 1928, he first achieved greater recognition, and indeed right here in the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, when Schreiber-Weigand organized a solo exhibition for him.


Hans Unger (1872–1936)

Am Morgen, o. J. (um 1915) / In the Morning, n. d. (ca. 1915)

Hans Unger was the formative artistic figure of the turn of the century in Dresden. Until 1914, he created an oeuvre in which he dealt with the idealistic art of the 19th century and his contemporaries Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger. Characteristic for his work are symbolist depictions of women. In the mid-1910s, Unger’s brushstroke became coarser; he now applied the paint in pasty layers on top of each other, creating a relief-like surface structure. In 1913 the Kunsthütte Chemnitz dedicated an extensive solo exhibition to Hans Unger.


Henry van de Velde (1863–1957)

Jardinière, 1903

The Jardiniere (flower bowl) was once in the dining room of the Villa Esche in Chemnitz. The beautifully shaped bowl was produced using a casting process. The interesting play of colors in yellow-blue was created by a small addition of iron oxide to the feldspar glaze containing titanium oxide. The slight clouding was caused by the titanium oxide. In the reduction firing such glazes form a blotchy surface. The yellow coloring at the top and the blue coloring at the bottom was probably caused by re-oxidation through more cooling air in the upper part of the kiln or by a lower reduction effect of the flue gases.


Oskar Zwintscher (1870–1916)

Gold und Perlmutter, 1909 / Gold and Nacre, 1909

Oskar Zwintscher painted the title-giving objects, the mother-of-pearl box and the gold necklace and bracelet with eye-decepting perfection. The nude representation of his wife Adele becomes almost a minor matter. During the restoration, which was carried out in 1995, loose areas of color were secured, dirt, yellowed varnish and several large-area re-touchings were removed from the surface. The wavy and deformed canvas has been smoothed and re-tensioned. Flaws in the painting layer were then retouched. The decorative frame was given a new metal leaf coating.

Detlef Göschel, painting restorer


Hans Unger (1872–1936)

Plakat für Estey-Orgeln aus Dresden, 1896 / Poster for Estey Organs from Dresden, 1896

Kunstanstalt Wilhelm Hoffmann, Dresden

Hans Unger, who hailed from Bautzen, became known in 1896 with this much-praised poster. Before this, Unger had completed an apprenticeship as a decorative painter in Dresden and attended the Academy, where he was a student of Friedrich Preller the Younger and Hermann Prell. The apprenticeship was followed by a study stay of several months at the Académie Julian in Paris. Journeys took the artist to Italy, the Baltic and North Sea, but also to Egypt. Unger finally became a popular portraitist of the Dresden Haute Monde, and today, along with Sascha Schneider, Selmar Werner and Oskar Zwintscher, he is one of the most famous representatives of Dresden Art Nouveau.

This poster was the starting point for Unger’s career. It advertises the Dresden organ building company Estey and is stylistically completely committed to Art Nouveau. Unger staged his muse and later wife Marie Antonia, musing when playing music, in an almost monumental way, framed by floral motifs and enraptured by the sound of the instrument.

Henry van de Velde (1863–1957)

Jardiniere, 1903

The jardinière (flower bowl) was once located in the dining room of the Villa Esche in Chemnitz. The beautifully shaped bowl was produced in a casting process. The interesting play of colors in yellow-blue was created by a small addition of iron oxide to the feldspar glaze containing titanium oxide. The slight opacification was caused by the titanium oxide. In the reduction firing such glazes form a blotchy surface. The yellow coloring at the top and the blue coloring at the bottom was probably caused by re-oxidation due to more cooling air in the upper part of the furnace or by a lower reduction effect of the flue gases.