Chazen Museum of Art


Early 20th-century German and Austrian Print Exhibition Opens at Chazen Museum of Art on December 15

On view December 15, 2012–March 3, 2013


Madison, Wis., December 3, 2012—At the beginning of the 20th century, German and Austrian artists sought novel ways of looking at the world that departed radically from classical ideals, resulting in unprecedented experimentation and personal expression. Drawn from a collection of works recently donated to the museum by UW–Madison alumna Barbara Mackey Kaerwer, German and Austrian Prints: 1890–1925 will survey the breadth of German and Austrian printmaking during the period. The exhibition will be on view December 15, 2012–March 3, 2013.

Kaerwer began collecting art in 1956 when her interest in German culture and history took her to study German art in Minneapolis. There she met Dr. Harold Joachim, then curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and a great scholar of German works on paper. Joachim not only fostered Kaerwer’s interest in German prints and tutored her connoisseur’s eye, he also invited her to meet the German art dealers who regularly visited the museum to sell prints.

The German expressionist works Kaerwer initially collected had become unaffordable by 1965. Looking for other areas to collect in, she discovered the art of Vienna, Austria, and its premier institute of design, the Vienna Workshops (Wiener Werkstätte). Artistically, these works were quite distinctive from German expressionism; just over the border, Austrian artists were melding naturalistic patterns, subtle colors, and uncompromising technique into a modern sophisticated style. Kaerwer was fascinated by the way the two groups took such opposing approaches to modernism and she began collecting Viennese art.

Kaerwer’s collection takes an unusually broad view of German and Austrian art from the early twentieth century, providing a clearer picture of visual culture during this tumultuous period. The works in this exhibition demonstrate the remarkable range of style, subject matter, and intent of artists whose work became milestones of twentieth aesthetics.

Gallery Talk

Thursday, January 31, 2013, 5:30 p.m. “Bountiful Impressions: The Barbara Mackey Kaerwer Collection,” gallery talk by Barbara C. Buenger, Professor of Art History, UW–Madison

Generous support for this exhibition has been provided by the Chazen Museum of Art Council and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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 Digital images for media use are available upon request. Contact: Susan Day, Editor, (608) 263-2068,

The Chazen Museum of Art is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The main entrance is accessible to wheelchairs. Parking is available at the City of Madison State Street Campus Ramp (entrances on Frances and Lake streets) and under University Square. Metered parking is available in the UW lot 46 lower level. Evening and weekend parking is also available in UW lot 83 under Fluno Center, entrance on Frances Street, and in UW lot 7 under Grainger Hall, entrance on Brooks Street. The Chazen will provide sign language interpreters for associated programs by three-week advance request to Anne Lambert, Curator of Education, weekdays, (608) 263-4421 (voice). Information is also available by visiting our website at

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