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#1800 Museum of Fine Arts - Leipzig (Germany)

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The "Museum der bildenden Künste" (Museum of Fine Arts) is a museum in Leipzig, Germany. On 7000 square meters of display area, 3500 paintings, 1000 sculptures and 60.000 graphical works are shown. It covers artworks from the Late Middle Ages to Modernity.

The museum dates back to the founding of the "Leipzig Art Association" by Leipzig art collectors and promoters in 1837, and had set itself the goal of creating an art museum. On 10 December 1848, the association was able to open the "Städtische Museum" in the first public school on the Moritzbastei. There were issued approximately hundred gathered and donated works of (at that time) contemporary art. Through major donations including Maximilian Speck von Sternburg, Alfred Thieme and Adolf Heinrich Schletter the collection grew with time. In 1853, businessman and art collector Adolf Heinrich Schletter donated his collection under the condition that the city build a municipal museum within five years. Shortly before the deadline expired the museum was inaugurated on 18 December 1858. It was located on the Augustusplatz and was designed by Ludwig Lange in the style of the Italian Renaissance. From 1880 to 1886 the building had been for the ever-growing collection extended by Hugo Licht. At the beginning of the 20th Century, Fritz von Harck donated a part of his collection to the museum. In 1937 the Nazis confiscated 394 paintings and prints mainly of Expressionism in the propaganda campaign Degenerate art. In the night of 4 December 1943, the building was destroyed by a British air raid. Much of the inventory had previously been brought to safety.

In the mid 1990s, the city decided to give the museum back its own building. On 4 December 2004, exactly 61 years after the destruction of the "Städtischen Museum" on Augustusplatz, the new museum opened at the former Sachsenplatz (Saxony Square). The rectangular museum building cost almost 75 million euros and was designed by the Berlin-based architects Karl Hufnagel, Peter Pütz and Michael Rafaelian.

Matthijs van Wageningen
Created on
Monday 11 July 2005
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