25. Feb 2018 – 15. Apr 2018

Werner Klemke

Werner Klemke
Grafik und Buchkunst aus der Sammlung Matthias Haberzettl

The Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz – Schloßbergmuseum present a cross-section of the work of Werner Klemke (1917-1994), who was one of the most renowned commercial graphic artists, book designers and illustrators in the former GDR. The objects – posters, books, caricatures, erotic miniatures – come from the collection of the Klemke expert Matthias Haberzettl from Augsburg.

Werner Kleklekle’s illustrated children’s books of the Cloud Sheep, the Stag Heinrich or Grimm’s children’s and household fairy tales enjoyed great popularity. He also achieved enormous popularity with the magazine covers he designed over three decades and his illustrations of works of world literature. Klemke illustrated Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, Thomas Mann’s Confessions of the Con man Felix Krull, and the True Tales of Montesquieu. Posters, stamp series, caricatures, ex libris and miniatures complete Klemke’s oeuvre.

In addition to the well-known artist and illustrator, there was an “unknown” Werner Klemke. As only became known in 2011 through finds in the archives of a Dutch Jewish community, Klemke came into contact with the Dutch resistance during the occupation as a Wehrmacht soldier. He used his graphic skills to forge documents such as food ration cards and identity papers, enabling over 300 Dutch Jews to escape and survive. Dutch documentary filmmaker Annet Betsalel dedicated a film to this page in Klemkes’ life, which premiered at the Jewish Film Festival Berlin/Potsdam in 2015.

The Schloßbergmuseum will show excerpts from Annet Betsalel’s Treffpunkt Erasmus in the exhibition and the complete film in a special event, which the author will attend. As part of the accompanying programme, the former pupil and later son-in-law of Klemkes, the Israeli writer Chaim Noll, from Es ist gar nicht lange heretofore, will be shown on 14 April at 5 pm. Read Memories of Werner Klemke.

The exhibition and accompanying programme are a cooperation between the Schloßbergmuseum with Matthias Haberzettl/Augsburg and the bookshop Elke and Günther Ebert/Chemnitz. The Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz – Schloßbergmuseum would like to thank the community of heirs of Werner Klemke, Christian Klemke, the publishing group Beltz/Julius Beltz GmbH & Co. KG and the Kurznachzehn Verlag GmbH.