Expressionist Art In Leicester @ New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Simon Lake - Curator, New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

On a recent trip to the UK we came across an exquisite collection of Expressionist works that are held by the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery in Leicester. The Leister collection is unique and internationally renowned in its focus on German expressionist art. The origins and development of the collection were the result of a particular combination of local and historical circumstances and the contributions of individual members, benefactors and the museum’s staff. Thanks to the generosity of curator Simon Lake, Artist Profile was given a private view of the top rate German works and the private stories on how they ended up in the UK.

These works were highlighted in a successful exhibition titled “A Journey Out of Darkness”which ran until earlier this year. It was a stunning exhibition of over 100 artworks, which explored the development of Leicester’s German Expressionist Art Collection.The overall collection, which began in 1944 amidst the darkness of war with paintings saved from destruction in Nazi Germany, now numbers over 350 artworks, the first and largest of its kind in the UK.The exhibition featured works from private collections which were brought to England for safe keeping from the Nazis by artists and private collectors. Expressionist art was a revolutionary art form pivotal in the evolution of modern art but which was attacked and outlawed in Hitler’s Germany.

Some of the most popular works are a testament to the energy, breadth and enduring quality of the collection, these include works by Frans Marc, Kandinsky, Münter, Heckel, Schmidt-Rottluff, Kirchner, Kollwitz, Dix, Feininger and Grosz.

The exhibition is now closed, but a new permanent re-display of a selection of the German Expressionist artworks will open in Spring 2011.

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, 53 New Walk, Leicester, LE1 7EA. email:

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